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A method to compare cases concerning categorical transitions during various time intervals

Authors: Thomas Mumuni Bilintoh*, Clark University
Topics: Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Remote Sensing
Keywords: Temporal, Accelerate, Decelerate
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Scientists require methods to compare cases that vary in terms of spatial extent, temporal
extent and temporal resolution. This poster proposes a method that facilitates such
comparison for transitions among categories. This poster illustrates this method by
addressing six important concepts: (1) spatial extent, (2) temporal extent, (3) temporal
resolution, (4) acceleration of change, (5) the number of times a pixel changes across
multiple time intervals, and (6) relationship between the changes and the gradient of an
independent variable, such as elevation. I illustrate the concepts by comparing three cases
from the Long Term Ecological Research network: Plum Island Ecosystems (PIE), Georgia
Coastal Ecosystems (GCE), and Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR). For each case, I analyzed maps
at three time points where each time point shows the same set of land cover categories:
water, marsh, and upland. Each case has a distinct spatial extent, temporal extent, and
temporal resolution. The method focuses on the dynamics of a single category, in this
example marsh. The method shows that the cases in order of annual gross change are PIE,
GCE and VCR. The method shows also that change accelerates from the first-time interval to
the second time interval in all three cases. In all three cases, most of change occurred during
exactly one time interval as opposed to during consecutive intervals. This poster provides
scientists with an innovative method to express transitions to and from a category in a
manner that facilitates comparison among cases.

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