Visualizations: Archive and
We have grouped our visualizations into metaphors,
time-keeping devices and schemata, an archive of graphic representations, and a
project gallery of diagrams that conform to the time ontologies and temporal
relations outlined in the previous sections. Visualizations of temporality
divide into three areas:
Representations of time as Chronos, the
flowing river, as a clock with wings, as a blown-out candle whose smoke marks
the ephemerality of human existence, an hourglass, Oroborous as the image of
an endless cycle, and so forth. Iconographically rich, these images lack the
abstraction essential for generalized schemes of reprsentation.
- Timekeeping devices and schemes (extrinsic and
The conventions used in timekeeping devices are
repurposable for conceptualization and display of temporally marked data as
well as temporal relations. These devices consist of clocks, calendars, and
various calculating and record-keeping systems (volvelles, sundials,
astronomically cued structures and systems). Timekeeping devices and schemes
provide REFERENCE FRAMES for representation of temporal relations either
within data sets or between data and extrinsic time systems.
- Archive of Graphic representations of temporal
Descriptive captions from the original sources have been maintained. The
captions we have added name the features of the images that will form the
standard graphical vocabulary for temporal modelling in our project templates.
- The basic categories are linear, planar, spatial representations.
These may contain bivariate or multivariate information axes.
direction is almost always unidirectional/asymmetric.
- Reference frames
are either extrinsic to the system (assuming an objective time framework) or
intrinsic to it (based on relations) or some combination of these.
Notation system contain markers for points (discrete moments), intervals
(segments of time), and events (occurrences in time).
- (Spectrum of biological cycles, from Fraser) Linear,
unidirectional/asymmetrical timeline with extrinsic time frame and
multiple granularity scales.
- (Hydrocarbons from Tufte) Linear time line in 2.5
dimensions (orthographic). Data shown in continuous display cut snapshot
mode. Information is mapped onto a topographic plane. Extrinsic time
- (Schreiber - last diagram in the article) Linear,
unidirectional/asymmetrical timeline with cyclic time
progession/repetition wrapped around it for correlation. No time frame
- Bronstein (time lines with Judeo-Christian emphasis, also, the Karl
Jasper's axial timeline) Linear time, 2-dimensional, but inflected by
ideological considerations. Time frame is largely event driven.
- Calendar - an idiosyncratic planar graphical schema
- (Mayan/Julian from Fraser) Planar convention, implies
unidirectional asymmetry but accessed topographically. Two extrinsic time
frames (Mayan/Julian) put into correspondence. Uniform but non-specific
granularity (metric of the table has arbitary semantic value).
- Bivariate and Mulitvariate Tables
- Marey (from Tufte) Bivariate table with discrete data
points (place names on vertical axis) and continuous data (time
progression on horizontal axis). The metric of the diagonal lines allows
differences in speed to register (though this feature is not taken
advantage of here) - presumably these trains travelled at more or less the
same speed.) Extrinsic time frame. Uniform granularity.
- Circadian Rhythm (Fraser) Bivariate table with both
extrinsic (days/hours) and intrinsic (periods of wakefulness/sleep) time
frames. Notation system marks intervals as well as points but within a
- Biological cycles (Fraser) Multivariate table with five
data types mapped on two temporal axes, extrinsic time frames, uniform
- NY Times weather image (Tufte) Multivariate table using
one axis for correspondences (horizontal) and multiple values on
horizontal axis for precipitation, temperature, humidity data.
Precipitation indicated in discrete units, temperature and humidity in
continuous mode. Extrinsic time frame.
- Bar Graphs
- Life line (from Lifeline article) Multivariate table,
uses intervals and events, extrinsic timeframe.
- Reigns of Kings (Tufte) Bivariate table, uses intervals,
and embodies the "dividing instant" problem.
Dials seem most useful when multiple
variables need to be calculated in relation to each other, as in the case of
the astronomical/astrological volvelles shown in the second image here,
where correspondences can be visually demonstrated through rotation.
Otherwise, the dial serves a metaphoric purpose, as in the first image.
- Cyclic representation of timeless, universal cycles
(Thames and Hudson) Hiearchical structure internal to the cycles
- Calculation tools (1 and 2) Multiple sidereal/astronomical/astrological cycles
graphed against each other for calculation. Multivariate, interval-based,
multiple granularities, and extrinsic time frames.
- March of Napoleon (Tufte) Spatial-temporal date
integrated into single narrative made into topographic image. Extrinsic
time-frame. Single granularity. Topographic template serves both literal
(geographic advance) and metaphoric (size of army) purposes.
- Chris Ware (1 and 2) Multiple time-lines in tree/branching flow-chart
capable of inidicating several sequences of events simultaneously. No
extrinsic time frame indicated in this example. Intrinsic relations
determined by linking.
- Temporal Relations Diagrams
The issue here is
not the linear/planar distinction, but the graphing of relations within an
assumed assymetric temporal experience.
- Allen's diagrams are standards in the field for showing logical
relations. (1 and 2)
- Steedman's (derived from Reichenbach) add a useful
notation system for discourse analysis.
- Minkowski Diagram
This description is taken from
"First, time looses its privileged position as the
independent variable for describing natural phenomena, while only a four
co-ordinate space-time continuum is used to express the physical laws;
second, each event (a point in space-time) is the vertex of a twofold
cone which contains the past and the future of the event itself. Points
which belong to trajectories (world lines) lying within the cone are
related to the vertex event by a precedent relation, which expresses
causality. Points outside the cone are simply "elsewhere" and cannot be
causally related to the event; they are independent of the event or
concurrent with it. Therefore, any interaction between two events can
only occur within the intersection of their light cones."
- Fraser - Time Dilation
Projects: Ontologies and Temporal Relations
- Time Lines: graphs, sliders, dials, variable scale/granularity,
- Time Planes: Topographies
- charts (calendars, tables, multi-variate graphs)
- topography (flow charts, trees, story spaces)
- Time Spaces 3, 4, and N-dimensional
- Reference Frames
Extrinsic: references: sidereal,
physical, cultural, biological, time-stamped
structures: relationally defined and constrained
- Notation Systems - causality, etc.
Focus, and Goals | Conceptual
and Representational Issues | Informatics
and Temporality | Visualizations
Concepts | Geo-Spatial
Temporality | Narrative
Theory | Relativity
for Representation | Bibliography