Strategies for the Visualization of Geographic Time-Series Data

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

1 Scopus citations


Strategies for the visual display and analysis of geographic time-series data may be spatial or non-spatial, single view or multiple view, static or dynamic. Labels for place names or other geographic metaphors can describe symbols on aspatial time-series charts. Singlestatic- map strategies incorporate the temporal dimension through techniques ranging from complex point symbols, or temporal glyphs, to generalized trend-surface or flowlinkage maps focusing on movement. The multiple-static-maps strategy juxtaposes two or more maps for a simultaneous visual comparison of time units, whereas the singledynamic- map strategy either presents maps in a temporal sequence or shows the evolution of a geographic pattern through a temporally sequenced accretion of symbols. In contrast, the multiple-dynamic-maps strategy provides programmed sequences of multiple views or allows the viewer to interact with maps and statistical diagrams representing different instants or periods. Electronic graphics systems have added time to the cartographer's list of visual variables. This paper addresses the graphic portrayal of geographic time-series data. It explores a variety of graphic strategies for the simultaneous symbolic representation of time and space, and summarizes these strategies in a conceptual framework of potential use to cartographers, geographers and graphic designers. These strategies range from statistical diagrams to maps to video animations to interactive graphics systems with which the analyst might freely manipulate time as a variable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClassics in Cartography
Subtitle of host publicationReflections on Influential Articles from Cartographica
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780470669488
ISBN (Print)9780470681749
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Cartographic cross-classification array - rows representing attributes and columns representing time units
  • Change map, showing rate of change by state
  • Graphic portrayal of geographic time-series data
  • Logarithmic scale for vertical axis - allowing slope of trend line, portraying relative rates of change
  • Stacks of maps, grouped by attribute - and within each attribute by time
  • Strategies for visual display - and analysis of geographic time-series data, spatial or non-spatial, single view or multiple view, static or dynamic
  • Strategies for visualization of geographic time-series data
  • Time as a visual variable - computer graphics, elevating time to its proper place in graphic analysis
  • Time-series chart with trend lines - each labelled with a place name
  • Time-series data, for statistical diagrams - time as horizontal axis and single variable as vertical axis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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