Geography and Geographic Information Science

Back to Listing

Shih Lung Shaw: Space, Time, and Person-Based Geographic Information Science in a Dynamic, Mobile and Connected World

Event Type
Cyberinfrastructure and Geospatial Information (CIGI) Lab
219 Davenport Hall
Feb 22, 2013   3:00 - 4:00 pm  
Shih Lung Shaw
Julie Carlson
(217) 244-9315

Geographic information science (GIScience) has been considered as a spatial science. Its

focus therefore has been on handling spatial data. Our world however is more complex

than static snapshots of various spatial distribution patterns. Things change over time and

the observed spatial patterns often are the outcomes of various types of processes. In

other words, we face a dynamic world that challenges the conventional GIS

representation of map layers as static snapshots. Furthermore, human activities and

interactions are increasingly expanding into virtual space enabled by modern information

and communication technologies (ICT) such as the Internet and mobile phones in a

mobile and connected world. It is no longer sufficient to only study activities and

interactions in physical space if we want to gain a comprehensive understanding of

modern societies. GIScience therefore should be able to represent, analyze and visualize

activities and interactions in a hybrid physical-virtual space. This brings up some

fundamental challenges of moving beyond the Cartesian coordinate system employed in

conventional GIS to better integrate physical and virtual activities and interactions.

Another important element missing in conventional GIS is persons. Although we may

agree that human beings play a very active and important role in the world, conventional

GIS often treat persons as passive attribute data associated with various locations rather

than active, dynamic and mobile agents. This presentation discusses some challenges of

developing Space, Time, and Person-based Geographic Information Science and uses a

space-time GIS employing extended time-geographic concepts to illustrate some efforts

of integrating space, time, and persons in a GIS environment.

link for robots only