visualizing time

Marceau et als article looks at the use of temporal GIS in a study of land use in St. Eustache. While the paper shows one way that we may incorporate time into GIS, it is only one fairly limited use. The paper’s twelve year old date is important to consider in a fair critique, and I commend the researchers use of available softwares and interfaces in order to move forward on temporal projects. Further, their goal appeared to be focused on ability to conduct spatiotemporal queries, rather than representation. While the former is probably the more essentially important part of temporal GIS, I’d like to talk about the latter.

The question of how to represent a temporal dimension in GIS is one that seemingly continues to stump geographers, and there doesn’t appear to be strong consensus on best practices. Dipto talked a bit about this below, and I agree with him that a useful area of thought in GIS should be how we might rethink the way we do Temporal GIS. How then might we move forward? Can a static image accurately represent time? And what of that data in between recordings? How can we utilize interpolation that is accountable to the purpose of our GIS?
My main question is: is it important that there be a consensus on representation? And further, what does a consensus mean to us in terms of epistemological and ontological concerns?



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