Time can be characterized as the fourth dimension of the physical space-time continuum. From the human point of view, a concrete system can move in any direction on the spatial dimension, but only forward on the temporal dimension. Static objects can be defined as objects that do not change in a short time period. GIS systems generally deal with static information. However, in many situations, the information in GIS applications does change dynamically. Quite often, it is desirable to combine static information with dynamic information. Studies show that major impediments to the analysis ofspatial data arise from a lack ofwell-documented methods in terms of error accumulation; error which will occur due to the static representation of dynamic ecosystem components suggest that a real-time method must be developed. Methods of assessing the accuracy of dynamic images are also inadequate and must be further researched.
Real time means momentary, that is, the same moment as it happens. In real-time systems, this implies momentary updates. However, it is impossible to get momentary updates, there is always some delay. The acceptable delay length for a real-time system depends on how dynamic the processes are and how time-critical the decisions are. Rapid development of computing technology in recent years has enabled real-time spatial analysis and real-time data visualization to become realizable, although current GIS software and interfaces do not encompass the set of technical and real-time functions.
GIS provides powerful functionality for spatial analysis, data overlay, and storage. These spatially oriented systems lack the ability to represent temporal dynamics and their concepts of ecosytems are static. In other words, GIS prefers a static view and generally lacks the representation of dynamics. The current generation of commercial GIS is unable to facilitate real-time decision making without significant modifications or integration with external models.
In general, the technology of digital geographies has found that the representation of change in time is extremely hard to handle. GIS today remains a technology for static data, which is a major impediment to its use in spatial modeling.
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