In Michael Goodchild and Donald Janelle. Eds. 2004.
Spatially Integrated Social Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Geovisualization of Human Activity Patterns Using 3D GIS

Mei-Po Kwan and Jiyeong Lee

Abstract: The study of human activities and movements in space and time has long been an important research area in social science. One of the earliest spatially integrated perspective for the analysis of human activities patterns and movement in space-time is time-geography. Despite the usefulness of time-geography, there are very few studies that actually implemented its constructs because of a lack of detailed individual-level data and analytical tools. With the increasing availability of georeferenced individual-level data and improvement in the representational and geocomputational capabilities of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), the operationalization of time-geographic constructs has become more feasible recently. This chapter illustrates the value of time-geographic methods in the description and analysis of human activity patterns using GIS-based three-dimensional (3D) geovisualization methods. These methods are used to study gender/ethnic differences in space-time activity patterns using an activity diary data set collected in the Portland (Oregon) metropolitan area. The study shows that geovisualization methods are not only effective in revealing the complex interaction between the spatial and temporal dimensions in structuring human spatial behavior. They are also effective tools for exploratory spatial data analysis that can help the formulation of more realistic computational or behavioral models.

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