A Framework for Temporal Geographic Information, Langran and Chrisman (1998)

Langran and Chrisman (1998) discuss the antecedents of temporal GIS, its core concepts, and a number of ways in which temporal geographic information is conceptualized. The map/state analogy was helpful for my understanding of the spatial and temporal parallels. I suppose the stage concept of time is fairly intuitive, but I appreciated its connection to maps explained explicitly. The authors seem comfortable with the convention of representing spatial boundaries as distinct lines, but I can imagine how similar concerns for vagueness and ambiguity might arise in temporal data as well.

The authors did a good job of presenting the advantage and limitations of geographic temporality concepts. At the beginning they mentioned how the “strong allegiance of digital maps to their analog roots” was inadequate for spatiotemporal analysis, but I’ll admit that I didn’t think that the two concepts they presented really subverted this allegiance very much. Still, maybe I’m spoiled by the ways  people are re-imagining maps on the geoweb–an unfair comparison for a 1998 paper.

It was interesting to get a glimpse of historical temporal GIS research. It’s clear that one of the biggest concerns in the implementation of a temporal GIS framework is temporal resolution. If I could hazard a guess, I would think that such concerns might evolve from interpolating between temporally distance information into the question of handling large amounts of data collected in rapid succession. With the advent of big data, namely by way of social media, I can imagine how the application of temporal GIS has and will proliferate since the time the article was published.

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