Temporal GIS  (TGIS) Research

My thesis work, "Developing a Quasi-Temporal Geographic System for the Capture, Analysis and Display of Historical Data Derived from Archival Maps" (WWU, 2003), is available from WWU's Wilson Library as well as the Huxley Map Library.

This work included the development of a 'quasi'-temporal GIS extension for ArcView 3.x (using Avenue and the ESRI shapefile) and a methodology for capturing and transferring data from archival maps into a GIS database. These were tested and evaluated by conducting a case study on Fairhaven, WA (1880-1930) using archival maps as the primary data source.

A condensed version of the same was presented at the 2003 ESRI User Conference in San Diego. The paper (including the full TGIS Reference bibliography from the thesis) and PowerPoint file from that conference are available below.

Developing a Quasi-Temporal GIS for Archival Map Data


Abstract from paper

Despite considerable research, GIS remain two-dimensional (atemporal), limiting historical research. A prototype, “quasi”-temporal ArcView 3.x extension adds temporal functionality for the capture, analysis and display of historical data derived from archival maps. While the composite database model used is inherently inefficient in terms of database structure, modern computer hardware is sufficiently powerful to overcome this limitation, making temporal analysis feasible.

A methodology of using archival maps for temporal information only (presence/absence or ‘temporal location’ as opposed to spatial location) expedites historical database construction.

A case study (Fairhaven, WA) illustrates the possibilities and limitations of the extension and archival map data.


Here's a few archival map and TGIS websites (a very non-comprehensive list...)


Page Updated 10.15.2013