GIS methods in time-geographic research: Geocomputation and geovisualization of human activity patterns

Mei Po Kwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the past 40 years or so, human activities and movements in space-time have attracted considerable research interest in geography. One of the earliest analytical perspectives for the analysis of human activity patterns and movements in space-time is time geography. Despite the usefulness of time geography in many areas of geographical research, there are very few studies that actually implemented its constructs as analytical methods up to the mid-1990s. With increasing availability of geo-referenced individual-level data and improvement in the geo-computational capabilities of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), it is now more feasible than ever before to operationalize and implement time-geographic constructs. This paper discusses recent applications of GIS-based geo-computation and three-dimensional (3-D) geo-visualization methods in time-geographic research. The usefulness of these methods is illustrated through examples drawn from the author's recent studies. The paper attempts to show that GIS provides an effective environment for implementing time-geographic constructs and for the future development of operational methods in time-geographic research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-280
Number of pages14
JournalGeografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • GIS
  • Geocomputation
  • Geovisualization
  • Space-time paths
  • Time geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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