Dynamics GIS: Recognizing the Dynamic Nature of Reality (ArcNews Online)

Reality is dynamic. In fact, dynamics is so essential to reality that a static world is difficult to imagine. Space and time penetrate physical, biological, social, and humanistic inquiries. The accumulative nature of sensing and knowing our world arises through spatiotemporal experiences and interpretations. Some disciplines, such as geography and landscape ecology, emphasize the spatial dimension of world knowledge, and other disciplines, such as history and climatology, take timecentric approaches to organize evidences of reality. However, it is the space-time integration that provides the explanatory power to understand and predict reality. In this article, I advocate for the concept of dynamics GIS to fundamentally rethink the role of geographic information science as a means to improve our understanding of reality and, through that understanding, to develop geographic information systems that enhance our ability to formulate interpretations, make informed decisions, and develop adaptation strategies for this ever-changing world. Before continuing, I would like to clarify my use of dynamics GIS instead of dynamic GIS. The emphasis refers to the fact that a GIS can represent, analyze, and model geographic dynamics, not that a GIS is dynamic.

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