Langran & Chrisman: Temporal Geographic information

Temporal GIS introduces the concept of temporal topology coupled with the more common spatial topology to allow us to better understand the relevance of time in cartography. Effectively, while time is a constant/infinite progression, maps and cartography can only portray certain glimpses of space along a timeline; whether it dynamic or static maps provide a snapshot/window of time and space. If we consider a map that display location based services applications, we would see that this information only exists for a relatively short period of time on the relative geologic timescale. Even prior to the modern cellphone use, we would see sharp contrasts in the abundance of these services. With this temporal information, it is easy to situate individuals not only in space through LBS but also in time which may be seen as even more invasive to their privacy.

The article does a great job in explaining the core methods in which we apply temporal analysis in cartography. it does not however go into much detail over the limitations of use for applying these methods. I’m curious to what problems or bias could potentially arise while adding time to cartography. I believe that the pros would most likely outweigh the cons in this case but that’s my opinion after only having read this article on temporal GIS. One issue for using temporal GIS could be the increased volume of data resulting from the desire and/or need to use temporal data.


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