2001, Kavouras, M., "Understanding and Modelling Spatial Change" Print
Cover of "Life and Motion of Socio-Economic Units"


Full tittle:


Kavouras, M., "Understanding and Modelling Spatial Change", in Frank A. Raper J. and Cheylan J.P., (Eds.), "Life and Motion of Socio-Economic Units", Chapter 4, London: Taylor & Francis, GISDATA Series 8, ISBN 0-203-30570-1, 2001. 




The great majority of GIS developments have dealt with reality and related problems utilising multiple static databases. Time has only been used as an attribute to index specific facts. Imprecise, nevertheless very useful and frequently used knowledge of time (including order and intervals) has not been possible yet. Furthermore, formalisation of change between two different states (facts or situations) in time has not been developed. There are still seem to be major conceptual problems in dealing with spatial change in GIS. Spatial change is intrinsically associated with time. This chapter addresses a number of important issues, in an attempt to stimulate scientific research towards the development of a unified spatio-temporal framework. In this framework, different application areas make entirely different demands on the temporal GIS. The differences are the result of: (a) the way objects are formed, and (b) the spatial reasoning required. A taxonomy of spatio-temporal aspects related to spatial change is first presented, based primarily on application but also on logic. A similar application-induced classification has been proposed by Burrough and Frank (1995), where the difference between the capabilities of current GIS software and the requirements are compared. Two important modelling issues follow next -- the examination of space, motion, time and change at different levels of detail (scale/generalisation concept), and the motion of objects with non-definite boundaries. A very important application, that of planning, is in essence a temporal effort. An effort which goes well beyond understanding (scientific reasoning), towards prediction which will then enable possible planning of a desirable future. The dependence of urban development and planning on spatio-temporal structures and the difficulties involved are presented in the chapters by Dupagne and Salvemini. The importance of understanding spatio-temporal change as well as effects and causes in rational planning of the use of space, is elaborated in the chapter by Gautier. From the wide variety of applications requiring advanced but very different spatio-temporal modelling, three diverse cases are presented. The first refers to spatial change in one of the most common and established socio-economic application -- the cadastre. The second refers to change of socio-economic units which are not obvious but created (limited) by definition (e.g., zone classification). This type of application and particularly the methodology and consequences of designing zoning systems for representing socio-economic data is detailed in the chapter byOpenshaw. Finally, the last example addresses the problem of building temporal GIS to record uncertain information, as it can be found in historic texts and link these to known locations while deciding for a proper spatio-temporal reference framework.


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