A method for the visualisation of historical multivariate spatial data

Davidson, A 2011, A method for the visualisation of historical multivariate spatial data, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title A method for the visualisation of historical multivariate spatial data
Author(s) Davidson, A
Year 2011
Abstract The use of spatial technologies and geographical concepts for historical investigation is an area of increasing academic interest. This interest has led to the emergence of the field of Historical Geographic Information Systems (Historical GIS), in which history and geography are inextricably linked in both technology and scholarship. Utilising historical sources requires greater emphasis to be placed on the temporal aspects of the data and often involves the tracking of historical events over time. This temporal focus has challenged the suitability of current visual representations utilised in Historical GIS. This is because the majority of projects rely on conventional geographic visualisation representation designed primarily for emphasising the geographic, not temporal, aspects of the data.

This thesis establishes a visualisation method for investigating and analysing the temporal and geographical nature of historical events. In particular, it will focus on addressing the importance of visualising multiple variables and depicting change of these variables over time, with the aid of a Historical GIS and data graphics, for understanding the patterns and relationships between them. The visualisation method enables these temporal and geographic aspects of historical spatial data, along with multivariate capabilities, to be incorporated effectively by extending the spatial dimension of time-series graphs, meaningful classification, and by utilising the capacity to show change and variability in linear spatial objects.

This thesis demonstrates the benefits gained from visualising historical, geographic, temporal, and multivariate data concurrently through a Case Study on the history of Melbourne’s cinema venues between 1946 and 1986. The history of cinema operation involves information on 289 cinema venues across a period of great cultural and technological change. Application of the visualisation method was used to address a number of Geographic Questions relating to specifics of cinema venue change by representing chosen venue locations and operation variables (such as seating capacity and ownership) over a specified temporal period. This has enabled data that is usually reserved for written communication to be visually analysed, interpreted, and displayed in a way not previously explored. It has been found that by creating visual access to multivariate and temporal spatial information it is possible to produce new insights into the geographic and temporal patterns and relationships present in historical data.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences
Keyword(s) Visualisation
Historical GIS
Multivariate Analysis
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Created: Thu, 13 Sep 2012, 14:27:34 EST by Maria Lombardo
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