Temporal Topology

Location, size, and proximity are just three of many characteristics a feature can be attributed. As complex as they are, the topology and relationships are absolute. Before reading this article I thought it was just a matter of applying the concept of a temporal relationship in a similar manner. I still believe that this is possible. For instance, the questions that the authors answer in Figure 5 could be answered similarly using the equivalent of “Clip” or Raster Calculator. It would be laborious, time consuming, and consist of a rigid framework, but one could still answer the question, “Which areas were fallow land during the last 20 years?”

The framework that Marceau et al. develops is much more dynamic, and thus all calculations can be completed before asking any questions, as opposed to asking a specific question and then answering it after numerous clips and overlays. Generating a user-friendly temporal-spatial model would be a big step forward in answering questions in the fourth dimension. Especially now, considering the ever increasing rate at which data is collected.

Like many problems with GIS, if the data was water and the processing was the pipe through which the water must pass, there will always be a limiting factor. The author’s are of the opinion that spatio-temporal data set availability is lacking, but make progress in further widening the pipe. In the coming years I believe that the limiting factor will again become predominantly the processing of the data as spatial data is collected at an ever increasing rate.

In other news, did anyone else have trouble where the document was missing all text “fi” was missing?



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