The use of maps as either representation of an actual, physical space or as a way to organize information in a cognitive scheme allows for spatialization of relations among elements of a temporal system for the purposes of interpretation. The conventions of mapping, largely 2-dimensional with occasional partial representation of 3rd dimension for emphasis or legibility of data also allow for narratives of human experienced to be "mapped" according to spatial coordinates. These coordinates may correspond to any designated variable (private to public, birth to death, brief to lengthy) so that the organization of a planar spatial representation may be organized in topographic terms even if it represents something other than geographical space. The conventions and evolving systems for geospatial representation of databases thus has considerable potential for humanistic interpretation, specifically with respect to data visualization. We have barely touched on this topic so far in our research, and the issue will be explored further in the seminar workshop through a presentation by Francesca Fiorani.
SUMMARY: Agnar Renolen, "Temporal Maps and Temporal Geographical Information Systems (Review of Research)": Mapping conventions in static media have been expanded by the capabilities of time-based media for display of change in landscapes over time. Animated maps, capable of showing transformations along a specific time-scale, introduce possibilities for information display that may coordinate information along numerous axes, not merely in a simulation of 3-dimensional space progressed along a time-axis as the 4th-dimension. Non-spatial information, or attribute data, may be readily accomodated within these schemes. Underlying premises for the organization of temporal data divide into two categories: the notion of time as continuous (and thus represented by real numbers) and that of time as composed of discrete moments (representable by natural numbers). Changes in any attribute may be graphed in one of the following three ways: as a change of state (a stepwise-constant), a recording of discrete values (at any given moment, usually according to fixed intervals), and in continuous values (uniformly, smoothly, or irregularly graphed depending on the input source and the degree of interpolation among data points). Renolen's overview provides a useful introduction, and is particularly suggestive for our work when it touches on Gail Langran's discussion of alternatives to a single predecessor/co-existence/ successor model of visualization through the mapping of more complex states.
Reading: Agnar Renolen, "Temporal Maps and Temporal Geographical Information Systems (Review of Research)"