chapter  27
Spatial and Temporal Change in Spatial Socio-Economic Units
ByJonathan Raper
Pages 10

In recent GIS research there has been an increasing concern with the fundamental issues of spatial and temporal representation. As the functionality of commercial software systems for handling static georeferenced geometric data has developed rapidly, researchers have in parallel begun to examine the mappings between the entities identified in the world of practical social and environmental problem solving and the representational devices used in the GIS. This new research, perhaps most clearly initiated in Mark and Frank (1991), has sought to identify spatial representations that can more fully handle the richness of spatial and temporal variation in these domains. In general this work has focused on problems where although current representations fall short in some way, specific benefits of spatial representations can be identified. Such potential can be identified in the applications of route finding, environmental management and the analysis of datasets relating to spatial socioeconomic units. Of necessity research in this new field has drawn from a variety of other disciplines including philosophy, physics, cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, computer science and sociology and has become definitively interdisciplinary (Raper, 1996). This chapter will focus on the efforts that have been made to develop richer spatial representations for the analysis of spatial socio-economic units (SSEUs).