Content of Special Column: Space-time Behavior and Geography in our journal

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    Beyond binaries: Reflections on hybrid geographies
    KWAN Mei-Po
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2013, 32 (9): 1307-1315.   DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.09.001
    Abstract1139)      PDF (506KB)(1153)      
    In the last century, geography as a discipline has witnessed a rift between spatial-analytical geographies and social-cultural geographies, resulting in lasting effect on the discipline. In this article, I explore how the social-theory/spatial-analysis split in geography arose. I argue that, instead of insisting on a unitary identity for the discipline, forging productive relations between different traditions, specialties and subfields seems to be a more viable strategy for enhancing the status of geography. I consider some possibilities for reconnecting social- cultural and spatial-analytical geographies by revisiting the relations between epistemology and method in geography. I suggest that there can be both positivist and non-positivist use of quantitative/GIS-based spatial analysis and qualitative methods, which makes the mixed-use of the two methods possible. Then I examine the notion of hybridity and its potential for redressing this polarizing tendency in the discipline, and summarize the existing practice of hybrid geographies. There are at least three common practices towards hybrid geographies. The most common hybrid practices are those that use quantitative or GIS methods to address issues informed by critical geographies. Another type seeks to cross the boundary between geo-spatial technologies and a qualitative understanding of the lived experiences of individuals in various cultural contexts. And the third type attempts to integrate critical social theory and spatial analytical methods. As a conclusion, I offer some thoughts on the possibility of a "post-social-theory, post-spatial-analysis" future for geography. This means a future in which social- cultural geographies and spatial-analytical geographies are no longer represented as the conflicting poles. And I point out that the major challenge for geography as a discipline is how to cherish the diversity and richness of perspectives while enhancing its status in the academic community and society.
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    Cited: CSCD(5)
    The application of the qualitative GIS in space-time research
    KWAN Mei-Po, GU Zhilian, TA Na, CHAI Yanwei
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2013, 32 (9): 1316-1331.   DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.09.002
    Abstract1456)      PDF (26636KB)(847)      
    GIS has been largely understood as a tool for the storage and analysis of quantitative data since the early days of their development; their use in qualitative or mixed-method research has been limited to date. This positivist perspective has caused much of the critical discourse on GIS since the early 1990s. In recent years there have been a growing number of attempts to redress this particular understanding of GIS and explore the possibility of using GIS in qualitative research, that is, qualitative GIS, which has included the strategy of integrating grounded theory and visualization, the integration of GIS and ethnography, and so on. Qualitative GIS has been a crucil tool for the mixed-method research in geography today. Time geography has been a significant perspective for the analysis of human activity and movement in space-time. It analyzes human behavior through an integration of the temporal and spatial dimensions, and has been a helpful perspective in a wide range of space-time research. Nevertheless, it has been criticized for ignoring subjectivity, omitting social and culture context, and leaning towards quantitative analysis. In resent years, the development of qualitative GIS and its application in mixed-method research has provided a foundation for the integration of qualitative analysis in time geography. This paper reviews this development, with a focus on an approach to GIS-based narrative analysis developed by Kwan et al(2008) called "Geo-narrative". Geo-narrative is based on extending current GIS capabilities for the analysis and interpretation of narrative materials such as oral histories, life histories, and biographies. Which has three central elements: narrative analysis as the qualitative approach; 3D GIS-based time-geographic methods as the representational framework; and 3D-VQGIS as the GIS-based computer-aided qualitative data analysis component. This paper discusses how the application of Geo-narrative in time-geographic research can provide an effective environment for qualitative data collection and analysis in ralation to behavior, time and space, interpretation and re-interpretation during integration of the qualitative analysis in time-geographic analysis. Through this, a recursive and interactive qualitative analysis has been integrated with behavioral analysis in time geography within GIS. In addtion, to illustrate the analytical process using Geo-narrative and show how it can be used to perform qualitative analysis in time geography, we present a case example that draws on Kwan's study on the impact of anti-Muslin hate crimes on the lives of the Muslim women in Columbus, Ohio, after the attacks on theWorld Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
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    Cited: CSCD(9)
    The trend and hot issues in the field of space-time research: Based on the literature citation relationships and knowledge map
    GU Jie, ZHOU Suhong,YAN Xiaopei, CHAI Yanwei, ZHENG Zhong
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2013, 32 (9): 1332-1343.   DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.09.003
    Abstract1463)      PDF (7740KB)(1229)      
    The field of space-time research has received wide attention in the past few decades. In order to explore the trend and hot issues objectively, a database is set up by the software Histcite, consisting of 2263 related papers included in the database of "Web of Science" from 1999 to 2013 and 78139 indirect papers referenced by the papers in first group. The historical citation relationships and the hot-spot papers, key words, and journals are visualized on the platform of Citespace. At the same time, the citation relationships between the 2263 related papers are also analyzed by Histcite. Some conclusions are drawn as follows: Firstly, the widely cited papers are exploding, with the trend from discussions on the theoretical framework to methods and applications. In detail, after the first widely cited paper, titled as "what about people in regional science" written by H?gerstrand in 1970, appears in the citation tree-rings, there scattered certain other widely cited papers during the 1970s when the theory of time geography was being formed. There appear a few hot-spot papers during the 1980s, including the papers from the field of transportation geography. After the 1990s, with the application of GIS, more and more publications related to the subject of space-time were cited, and the trend became more remarkable after 2000s. The content of studies gradually shifted from description of space-time behavior to the interpretation of it. As T-GIS technology matures, space-time behavior will be used not only as an object to be decrypted, but also as a variable to explain space-time phenomena and social problems, and the value of the application will be gradually revealed. Secondly, the main trends of the papers related to space-time published during 1999-2013 have been discovered, including the integration of space-time framework and GIS, the integration of space-time and travel demand, the impact of internet and mobile technology on spatio-temporal behavior, and the gender differences et.al. The potential widely cited but non-mainstream papers are in the field of transportation modeling and sociology. Finally, the key words of hot topics and journals related to space-time are also recognized.
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    Cited: CSCD(2)
    Temporally integrated human mobility and health research
    KWAN Mei-Po, GUO Wenbo, CHAI Yanwei
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2013, 32 (9): 1344-1351.   DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.09.004
    Abstract1156)      PDF (916KB)(1019)      
    With the development of GIScience, geography's focus on important social issues intersects with other cognate disciplines, which in return enhances the vitality of geography itself. It is important to consider the temporal dimension and human mobility in geographic research, since time is closely linked to space, the very basic dimension of geographic studies. Health is one of the most important issues in people's daily life, which is closely bound up with space-time behavior. The perspective of activity-mobility system will contribute to the breakthrough of health-related research. Drawing upon recent research on human mobility, this paper reviews research and methods of accessibility, travel experience and well-being, and health and disease. GIS broke the constraints of geometry methods of accessibility research, and scholars developed various methods and aspects of accessibility research, of which the nearest research has taken accessibility to health and healthcare into account. Furthermore, the temporal dimension enriches the connotation of accessibility, considering time as well as space, and pays more attention to the old, the disabled, the low-income, children and women. Well-being and travel experience are one of the hottest topics of human mobility research. Traditional questionnaire survey can help capture travel experience and well-being from both objective and subjective side. Geo-narrative offered a method to get better understanding and visual presentation of travel experience from more detailed, empathizing and reasonable view. Health has been a deep-seated issue, and few researchers have probed into the relationship between health and human mobility. Health-related contextual variables are introduced into health-related mobility research, which presents the environmental elements such as air pollution, water pollution, etc. Coupled with high time-space accurate GPS methods, sampling method for health data collection makes it possible to give in-depth analysis of health-related mobility. The paper, in particular, explores individual accessibility to healthcare in low-income neighborhood in central Ohio from a spatial-temporal view using GIS, and it is found that the employed are facing poorer accessibility to healthcare than the unemployed. Another example is the factors influencing smokeless tobacco use in rural Ohio Appalachia through interview with 23 adolescent smokeless tobacco users and 38 adult smokeless tobacco male users, and it is found that culture, social network and easy accessibility to tobacco enhances the use of smokeless tobacco. The two cases show multiple methods of GIS, quantitative and qualitative, applied on health-related researches. Finally, prospects of temporally integrated research on human mobility and healthcare are discussed. The combination of theory and methods of different disciplines is essential to make the breakthrough in geographies of health and healthcare.
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    Cited: CSCD(8)
    Methods in urban temporal and spatial behavior research in the Big Data Era
    QIN Xiao, ZHEN Feng, XIONG Lifang, ZHU Shoujia
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2013, 32 (9): 1352-1361.   DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.09.005
    Abstract3279)      PDF (1002KB)(4311)      
    The rapid development of information technology has taken us into the "Big Data Era", changed the organization and structure of urban space and residents' behavior, and also caused transformation of the methods in urban temporal and spatial behavior research. On the basis of summarizing the problems of traditional methods such as poor data accuracy, small sample size, weak continuity, and higher costs, this paper first combs through the data acquisition and processing technology for web data mining, residents' behavior data collection and analysis, and network map integration and visual development, which can affect the transformation of the research methods. Then it reviews the latest progress in applying big data to urban temporal and spatial behavior research at home and abroad from the perspectives of residents' behavior, urban space, and urban hierarchy, and builds up a method framework for urban temporal and spatial behavior research based on big data application. The methods in urban temporal and spatial behavior research are going through a great transformation because of the emergence of massive and various information data. Data collection methods have changed from yearbook statistics, social questionnaire survey, in-depth interview to mining of network data (social network data) and application of new spatial position technology (GPS, smart mobile phone, LBS, etc.), and the data shows obviously new characteristics such as large sample size, real-time dynamic, micro and detail, with more attention paid to the extraction of residents' geographic position information. However, as to specific research methods, the traditional ones are still widely used, such as descriptive statistical analysis, cluster analysis, factor analysis, gravity model, network analysis, space-time prism, etc. Generally speaking, the researches of urban temporal and spatial behavior have obvious characteristics of using "new" data and "old" methods to study "newer" and "older" problems at the present stage, and their research scope has also expanded from residential scale to urban space and regional range. However, problems still exist with the current research, such as how to eliminate fictitious data, how to learn and innovate analytical methods, how to expand research field and embody characteristics of the era. Therefore, it is necessary to promote the cross and integration of related disciplines such as sociology, economic geography, cultural geography, tourism geography, computer science, mathematics and geographic information science, in order to find new analysis methods, and also reinforce the research of residents' behavior and urban space by using social network (Twitter, Flikr, Facebook, Sina Microblog, etc.) data or other web (SouFun.com, Dianping.com, Zhaopin.com, Taobao.com, etc.) data, and guide innovation of urban planning methods.
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    Cited: CSCD(47)
    Progress in space-time behavior research in China
    CHAI Yanwei, TA Na
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2013, 32 (9): 1362-1373.   DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.09.006
    Abstract1647)      PDF (584KB)(1080)      
    As a unique perspective for understanding the complex relationships between human activities and urban environments in space and time, the space-time behavior approach has become an influential methodology in China's urban geography since 1990s. Aiming at promoting communications and exchanges among urban geographers in different contexts, this article provides a critical review of space-time behavior research in China. Ever since time geography and activity-based model were introduced to China's urban geography, space-time behavior research in China has benefited from the fruitful theoretical and methodological progress made in Western geographical research. On one hand, GPS and mobile phone tracking technologies have been integrated into activity-diary surveys to collect more accurate and real-time activity-travel information. On the other hand, advanced statistical models and geocomputational and 3D geovisualization methods have been adopted in more recent empirical literature in China. Yet, while Chinese urban geographers have made more methodological progress in data collection and analytic tools thanks to the development of GPS and GIS technology, theoretical development still lags behind. However, space-time behavior research in China, with planning-oriented characteristics, offers a unique framework for understanding urban transformation in China. It has become a new perspective for understanding the complexity and diversity of human behavior patterns in the transitional cities in China. In other words, space-time behavior research tries to describe and interpret urban spatial structures and spatial reconstructing in urban China from the perspective of individuals' behaviors. The impacts of danwei-based urban spatial organization and its disappearance, as well as the impacts of suburbanization on individuals' daily activities, have been studied carefully. Especially, this approach emphazes how spatial restructuring impact individuals' daily life experiences, which in turn are related to the issues such as life quality, social equity and environmental sustainability. Urban geographers in China have begun to apply the space-time activity approach to the socio-spatial issues in the cities by focusing on daily-activity experiences of low SES (socioeconomic status) populations. And the development of the low-carbon city movement in China has prompted the application of the space-time behavior approach in understanding the impacts of land use characteristics on travel-related carbon- dioxide emissions through individuals' travel decisions. At the same time, planning practices based on the space-time behavior approach is carried out in urban transportation, tourism, and urban planning. The space-time behavior approach has become a very useful human-oriented approach to land use and transportation planning in China. The article concludes by discussing key theoretical and practical challenges for future development of space-time activity research in China.
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    Cited: CSCD(20)
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