Co-clustering geo-referenced time series: Exploring spatio-temporal patterns in Dutch temperature data

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Clustering allows considering groups of similar data elements at a higher level of abstraction. This facilitates the extraction of patterns and useful information from large amounts of spatio-temporal data. Till now, most studies have focused on the extraction of patterns from a spatial or a temporal aspect. Here we use the Bregman block average co-clustering algorithm with I-divergence (BBAC_I) to enable the simultaneous analysis of spatial and temporal patterns in geo-referenced time series (time evolving values of a property observed at fixed geographical locations). In addition, we present three geovisualization techniques to fully explore the co-clustering results: heatmaps offer a straightforward overview of the results; small multiples display the spatial and temporal patterns in geographic maps; ringmaps illustrate the temporal patterns associated to cyclic timestamps. To illustrate this study, we used Dutch daily average temperature data collected at 28 weather stations from 1992 to 2011. The co-clustering algorithm was applied hierarchically to understand the spatio-temporal patterns found in the data at the yearly, monthly and daily resolutions. Results pointed out that there is a transition in temperature patterns from northeast to southwest and from ‘cold’ to ‘hot’ years/months/days with only 3 years belonging to ‘cool’ or ‘cold’ years. Because of its characteristics, this newly introduced algorithm can concurrently analyse spatial and temporal patterns by identifying location-timestamp co-clusters that contain values that are similar along both the spatial and the temporal dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-642
Number of pages19
JournalInternational journal of geographical information science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2015


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