Lang ran and Chrisman (1988)- Temporal GIS

I found the discussion on temporal geographic information by Langran and Chrisman (1988) interesting, as it teetered between being relevant, and being dated. On the one hand, time is still a difficult thing to express and visualize, both attached and unattached to spatial data, but it is still extremely important to convey. On the other hand, I wonder how much has changed with advancements in interactive and online maps, which can very easily show different temporal layers one after the other, or move through time on command. Moreover, technological advances in surveillance, like UAVs used in police surveillance or traffic control, will create a wealth of spatio-temporal data greatly surpassing the kind described in the paper, which would require much more sophisticated processing and computing. I wonder how much of this discussion is embedded  geovizualisation, and whether “temporal GIS” is a standalone subject, or rather an important component of Geovis/Critical GIS/VGI/PPGIS/data mining/UAVs/etc…

I enjoyed the very beginning of the article, where the ‘nature’ of time is discussed (time is infinite and linear) and cartographers (GISers?) “can sidestep debates on what time is, and instead focus on how best to represent its effects” (2). I would argue that the way in which it/its effects are represented can, in fact, inform and serve as an interpretation of time. If a spatial map attempts to represent a “ground truth”, can’t a temporal map represent a “time truth”?

This is one of my favourite memes, with a quote on time from HBOs True Detective (with Mathew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson)- very meta.



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