Geographical Information Systems are powerful instruments to analyse spatial data. Wildlife researchers and managers are always confronted with spatial data analysis and make use of these systems for various tasks. One important characteristic of the animals unter investigation is their locomotion. Thus the temporal aspects are important, but unfortunately GIS are almost ignorant concerning the analysis of the temporal domain.
This thesis is trying to provide a new perspective on how to analyse moving point objects within GIS. A conceptual shift is performed from a space centered view to a way of analysing spatial and temporal aspects in an equally balanced way.
For this purpose the family of analytical Time Plots was developed. They represent a completely new approach of how to analyse moving point objects. They transform the data originating from an animal's movements into a representation with two time axes and one spatial axis that allows for an effective recognition of spatial patterns within the data. Some of the easier Time Plots make use of the Temporal Data Frames concept, another analytical framework using exploratory data analysis techniques to analyse and search for regularities in temporal point data. It is especially useful in the exploration of temporal aspects such as solar or lunar cycles.
The Radial Distance Functions developed and elaborated are a new method to analyse the environment around a point object. They can be thought of as an extension of the second-order functions applied to areal data. They are also extended to be used in a more dynamic way of analysing the movements of an animal in its environment.
The methods developed were applied to synthetic data as well as different animal species including ants, bats, woodstorks, badgers and lynx to test and illustrate their usability.
Due to the fact that temporal aspects become more and more important in GIS, a system similar to the (spatial) coordinate transformation between different coordinate systems needs to be developed for the temporal domain.