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Making Space for Time: Issues in Space-Time Data Representation

Prof. Donna Peuquet

Op dinsdag 16 mei 2000, aanvang 16.00 uur, heeft Prof. Donna Peuquet (Dept. of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University) op uitnodiging van de Nederlandse Commissie voor Geodesie een voordracht gehouden met de titel 'Making Space for Time: Issues in Space-Time Data Representation'.

Summary

The world is undeniably a very dynamic place, and change through time, as well as over space, is an integral component of any geographic process. Nevertheless, the temporal dimension was ignored in GIS until relatively recently. The reason for this is clear in retrospect in that current GIS techniques were derived from traditional cartographic methodologies - including the cartographic presentation of the world as a static snapshot. Certainly, this view of the world had been necessitated by the limitations of the available cartographic media (paper, mylar, etc.) in being inherently static. Much research is now taking place in both the cartographic and GIS realms toward representation of space-time dynamics within a computing context. For cartography, the computer as a new cartographic medium, with the ability to interact with a 2-d or 3-d dynamic map as an analytical tool has changed focus from cartographic presentation, as a message to be communicated in an end product, to cartographic representation, as portrayal of information in a manner very closely allied with database models.
Representing time in a database or on a computer display, and the appropriate analysis of space-time data, demands an explicit understanding of the nature of time and the various ways available to conceptualize it. Fortunately, there is already much literature on this topic, and in a range of fields from philosophy and physics to geography. In this presentation I will give a very brief review in order to draw out the commonalities and the differences between space and time, and the practical implications of these for representing space-time phenomena in a GIS context.