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Isn't It About Time?
May/June 2006 (vol. 26 no. 3)
pp. 80-83
Olga A. Kuchar, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Thomas J. Hoeft, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Susan Havre, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Kenneth A. Perrine, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Time plays a key role in all aspects of the intelligence analysis process, from data ingest through analysis methods to the cognitive processes that create intelligence products. However, the concept of time is difficult to grasp and not yet fully understood. Today's analytic tools fall short of satisfying analysts' needs. These tools do not significantly facilitate an analyst's cognitive process because the implicit representation of time found in these tools and their visualizations curtail analysts' opportunities to exploit their data's time dimension. There is a need to revisit and understand the nature of the role time plays. This article briefly discusses why time is difficult to grasp, the need for visualizations and interactions to deal with time, and some thoughts about a temporal analytic discourse. Overall, time cannot be left as an afterthought when developing visualizations; time should be considered a first-class object in its own right, rather than an implicit attribute, and of course must be as interactively manipulable as any other object.

1. D. Peuquet, Representations of Time and Space, Guildford Press, 2002.
2. B. Dowden, "Time," The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2005; http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/ttime.htm .
3. B. Dowden, "Time Supplement," The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2005; http://www.iep.utm.edu/ancillariestime-sup.htm#H10 .

Index Terms:
temporal analysis, human information processing, information visualization, interactive data exploration and discovery, knowledge management
Citation:
Olga A. Kuchar, Thomas J. Hoeft, Susan Havre, Kenneth A. Perrine, "Isn't It About Time?," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 80-83, May-June 2006, doi:10.1109/MCG.2006.64
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