Producing Geo-historical Context from Implicit Sources: A Geovisual Analytics Approach

Brian Tomaszewski
2008 The Cartographic Journal  
Geo-historical context, or GHC, is a contextual setting based on the interconnectedness of phenomena, events, and place across multiple spatial and temporal scales. GHC allows for situations to be understood and reasoned with, often with aid of visual representations such as maps. This paper presents a conceptual model of GHC that theoretically motivates a Geovisual Analytics application called the Context Discovery Application (CDA) that is also presented. The CDA is designed to aid in the
more » ... uction of geohistorical context by using computational processes to identify and extract potentially relevant context information from heterogeneous, implicit situation information. This information can then be explored through visual interfaces to help users explain and understand the information. A hypothetical humanitarian context analysis case study is used to show how the CDA can be applied to real world problems. heterogeneous information, and (c) how GHC can be of practical use in application. These issues are investigated in this paper. The need to geo-historically contextualize situations in application domains such as crisis management is greater than ever. GHC helps to support interpretations of and reasoning about varied geographic reactions to a disaster event, develop post-event intelligence about what happened during a crisis and why and assess threats and vulnerabilities before disasters happen. Information sources with the potential to be used in constructing geo-historical context for situations are vast and heterogeneous -ranging from GIS layers, email, and text messages to camera-enabled cell phone pictures, and online news reports. Therefore, the problem with producing geo-historical context is not a lack of information, but rather, how relevant information is made available, presented, accepted, and reasoned with by those who need it at the right time for the right reason (Tomaszewski et al., 2007) .
doi:10.1179/000870408x311369 fatcat:5ywu7zybxzg3vlb65pe5jstqhy