A Temporal MAUP

Marceau, Guindon, Bruel, and Marois outline two major problems with the temporal model in GIS: the lack of temporal topology, and the sampling interval. The temporal interval determines the scale at which the geographic phenomenon will be studied, and consequently “may affect the perception of the pattern dynamics of the phenomenon” (p. 4). Ultimately, this leads to Marceau et al.’s explanation that some geographical changes may go undetected.

With this in mind, we can refer to the MAUP in a temporal context. Some trends will be missed depending on the borders of the interval, and false conclusions can be made if a temporal interval is too small or if the full range of years is inappropriate overall. We see this sometimes with global warming — people using global cyclical temperatures since the beginning of time to say that global warming is just another natural temperature trend because there were massive temperature fluctuations way back when. We have to be careful where we put our boundaries.


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