Temporal GIS

May Yuan’s article regarding temporal GIS was an excellent introduction to the topic.  Displaying temporal data in a GIS is difficult to do effectively because of the platform’s focus on space and representation.  Two main methods of incorporating temporal data use either time-stamped layers or, time-stamped attributes.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages.  Personally, I have used time-stamped raster layers to assess land use change and it seemed effective though upon reflection I would hardly say it is ideal.

Change over time is a complex concept, more so than change over space.  Does GIS’s emphasis on representing geographic data make incorporating temporal data impossible?  One thing is clear, improved temporal data capabilities for GIS is necessary if GIS is to be used to confront difficult issues.  The GIS Wiki identifies epidemiology, transportation planning, and disaster management as key areas for temporal GIS but it could be used in many other fields.  Climate change, gentrification, urban decay, migration, better analysis of Big Data.  I would be interested in hearing in class how temporal GIS relates to Geovisualization as they seem like they could be related.  Also I’m sure that their are specific metadata issues associated with using temporal data sets.


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