Challenges and temporal GIS

The article of Langran et al. is dated but it represent an important development in the field of temporal GIS.

The space-time composite model breaks from early snapshot models that were ineffective in representing spatio-temporal complexities. The space-time composite model proposed by Langran et al. takes into consideration both database time and world time. Nonetheless, it seems like important challenges in spatio-temporal GIS are not totally addressed in this model. For example, the model is based on the linear conception of time as a progress and doesn’t allow the cyclic perspective of time as a continuity. Thus, representing changes that occur as part of a cycle evolution would not be supported in this model.

Also, spatio-temporal relationships between entities need to be described in order to allow complex queries, for example what happened to a parcel over time?

The space-time composite model might not be appropriate to represent moving objects and queries related to travel distances, speed, etc.

Furthermore, the spatio-temporal composite data model might not deal properly with keeping track and recording continuous changes. For example, when a polygon is split, new entities are created with each distinct attribute histories and so the new polygon is identified with two different names. Difficulties might arise to keep the link between the old polygon and new ones.


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