Kwan & Lee : Geoviz of Human Activity Patterns using 3D GIS


Having covered my talk on VGI and the implications of real-time tracking of individuals in space time, I found Kwan & Lee’s (2003) use of temporal GIS quite refreshing and a very unique and insightful study. In overtly using temporal GIS with such a large study group (7,090 households), this data collected goes from quantitative x,y & timestamp data, to very nuanced qualitative data when paired with contextual information, and compared against different study groups. I found this comparison between men/women and minority/Caucasian¬† everyday paths fascinating, and see how it could be used in a critical GIS lens to further analyse why these trends occur, and to empower these under represented groups in the realm of GIS.

I also found the use of 3D visualization very interesting (though to be expected) as you move from a traditionally planar form of GIS (x and y coordinates), to adding a third temporal attribute on the z axis. The papaer then delves into the intricacies of dealing with appropriate ways to display essentially a new form of GIS in an effective visualization, which poses a whole new range of issues vis à vis our Geovisualization talk by Sam. However, this extra z-attribute of time can be used for many new analyses using kernel functions to generate density maps to standardize comparisons of movement between individuals. This collection of movement data and analysis behind I find amazing, though also very scary when paired with the knowledge that such analysis could (and probably is) collected on a daily basis for not-so-critical or academic reasons, though rather targetted advertising and defense reasons in a form of coerced VGI.

All in all however, I find temporal GIS could be it’s own field in the creation of highly detailed datasets that can reveal much more than just location, and could aid in the creation of many tools and make for very rich data.


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