PerSE: visual analytics for calendar related spatiotemporal periodicity detection and analysis

Brian Swedberg, Donna Peuquet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Periodicity is embedded in all societies. As most of us organize our lives based on temporal structures, it is hard to imagine what life would be like without it. We experience periodicity through naturally occurring rhythms that exist in nature, such as sunrise/sunset, seasonal changes in the weather, and the tides. We also experience it through abstract means via cultural, political, religious ties, such as the weekend, Independence Day, and Ramadan. Forms of periodicity, like the examples above, are foundational to making sense of human activity because they provide contextual rationale and frame normaility. However, disparate calendars (e.g. Islamic vs. Gregorian), localized idiosyncrasies, and other variables greatly complicate the analytical ability to uncover and understand human activity at a given time within a specified region. We have developed PerSE (Periodicity in Spatiotemporal Events): a web application designed to aid users in the detection and analysis of calendar related periodicity in spatiotemporal event data sets via exploratory user interaction. PerSE is composed of several crossfiltering views: the Map, Attribute View, Time-Wheel, Timeline, and Table. Users interactively set and release filters on one or more of the views to detect and analyze calendar related periodicity. This paper illustrates the utility of PerSE through an in-depth description of the tool and proof of concept usage example.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-597
Number of pages21
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Information Systems


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