Type of Document Dissertation Author Morgan, John Derek Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-11012010-214122 Title A Visual Time-Geographic Approach to Crime Mapping Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Geography, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Philip E. Steinberg Committee Chair Mark Horner Committee Member Xiaojun Yang Committee Member Larry Gerber University Representative Keywords
- Criminal Mobility
- Map Usability
- Time Geography
Date of Defense 2010-10-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractWhen time geography was first proposed in the 1970s, it was considered quite innovative and on the frontiers of commonly practiced methods of geographic research. Some thirty years later it seems that time geography remains on the research frontiers. And while the use of time geography to visualize movements has been proposed in many potential applications, it continues to pose a number of operational barriers one of which is in the area of usability. Equally relevant to question of usability of time-geographic tools are considerations of usefulness.
The research objectives of this dissertation cut across studies of mobility, cartographic visualization and time geography. The outcome of these objectives is a practical assessment of the cartographic usability of time-geographic maps within the context of crime mapping. At the core of this dissertation is a test of the usability (and usefulness) of time-geographic maps. A semi-structured interview process was conducted, wherein respondents were led on a cognitive walkthrough of five map iterations of a crime scenario. And while the results are largely qualitative, a breadth of feedback is useful for considering both the usability and usefulness of time geography within a crime mapping context.
A key factor in testing the usability of the maps within this project was the determination of whether the 3D time-geographic approach could reveal patterns where traditional 2D GIS methods usually could not. The results of the usability studies conducted in this dissertation have revealed certain potentials benefits and challenges for the application of time-geographic tools. The implications of these results can be contrasted with previous results from similar usability inspection projects, as well as data from future tests, to develop practical tools for representing and analyzing movement through space and time, whether of crime or other activities.
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