Time4Maps - Visualizing time-variate data on a map.

Most of the scientific data published in the GLUES GDI is time series data. The Web client TIME4MAPS has been developed to enable a simple visual analysis of such data without installation of a massive GIS or other software. TIME4MAPS shows spatio-temporal changes of environmental data. The data must be provided by an OGC WMS service (1.1.1 or 1.3.0). The interactive map client enables to select spatial and temporal extent of the map and to control the animated map with a time slider. A click on the map provides concrete information and values of the selected point for the actual time step.

Displayed below: Visualizing time-variate data in TIME4MAPS (dynamic layout)


Visualizing temporal and non-temporal data
The Web client TIME4MAPS realizes several visualization modes. It allows to display temporal as well as non-temporal data. To define the temporal extent TIME4MAPS provides an interactive time slider and a calendar menu (for periodic data) or a select box for time stamps (for non-periodic data). The user interface elements for controlling temporal parameters will be hidden automatically, if the WMS service does not contain temporal data (in the capabilities document).

Control visualization order and transparency
TIME4MAPS allows to visualize several thematic maps at once by visualizing several layers. The visualizations of the thematic overlays (in one map) can be enabled or disabled with the layer switcher. The switcher also allows changing the transparency (if provided by the service) and the visualization order of the chosen layers.

Print map and information
In some cases, it is important to store the actual defined map view and temporal extent as well as layer order. Therefore TIME4MAPS provides a print function which generates a PDF document that contains the map of the current time stamp and a summary of the chosen time parameter and feature information. The PDF document, as a kind of analysis summary, can be used for printing or sending the information via mail.

Static or dynamic layout
TIME4MAPS is implemented as a light-weight Web client that should enable expert and non-expert users to analyze geoinformation. The client comes up with several layout modes - a static and dynamic layout. Within the static layout, the map, the legend, the time control elements and feature information box are displayed in a fixed size on a fixed position. This static and reduced layout allows especially novice users to focus on the spatio-temporal analysis instead of being overcharged by a complex user interface. Advanced users might want to adjust the user interface to their specific needs and they should use the dynamic layout. Within the dynamic layout the user interface elements, such as the map, legend or feature information, can be resized dynamically by the user and adopted to suit best for the current use case.

Displayed below: Visualizing several non-temporal datasets in TIME4MAPS (static layout)

Comparing temporal or non-temporal data
TIME4MAPS has been extended for the visual comparison of data. This extension is called COMPARE2MAPS and has been developed to enable a simple comparison and visual analysis of two datasets. The interactive map client enables to select one spatial and temporal extent for both linked maps. As it is realized in TIME4MAPS, the linked animated maps can be controlled with a time slider. If the Web service does not provide temporal information, the control menus will be automatically hidden.
Furthermore the linked maps can be used to analyze the underlying data. A click on one of the maps provides information (displayed below the maps) and values of the selected points (for the actual time step) in both maps.

Displayed below: Visualizing two linked time-variate maps in COMPARE2MAPS


Visualize your data in TIME4MAPS or COMPARE2MAPS
The GLUES Geoportal provides an interface to visualize the time series data of a selected WMS: Open interface.
Simply type in the service URL and WMS version. If the service only provides one layer, this layer will be visualized automatically on the map. Otherwise you will be redirected to a layer chooser website, which shows all available layers and allows you to select as much layers as you want to get visualized on the map.
The GLUES Geoportal also provides such an interface to visualize time series in COMPARE2MAPS. In case of visualizing two different Web service on the linked maps please, be sure that both services provide spatio-temporal information in the same format and resolution (e.g. both services do not provide temporal data; provide monthly, periodic data; provide non-periodic identical time stamps). Open interface.
(If you would like to use TIME4MAPS or COMPARE2MAPS with your data via parameterized call, please have a look at the next section.)

Embed TIME4MAPS or COMPARE2MAPS in your website
TIME4MAPS and COMPARE2MAPS can be easily integrated in other websites by using iFrames. They can be integrated several times in one website, e.g. parameterized with different services or in different layout options.
To integrate the client, you can use the following HTML-snippet and change the values in " ". If you would like to visualize more than one layer, please add a comma-separated list of all layers to the given URL.

TIME4MAPS, fixed layout (without website heading as seen above):
<iFrame id="T4M_Frame" src="http://geoportal-glues.ufz.de/Time4Maps/index.jsp?url="YOUR-WMS-URL"&
version=1.1.1&layer="YOUR-LAYER-NAMES"" />

TIME4MAPS, fixed layout (with website heading):
<iFrame id="T4M_Frame" src="http://geoportal-glues.ufz.de/Time4Maps/start.jsp?url="YOUR-WMS-URL"&version=1.1.1&layer="YOUR-LAYER-NAMES"" />

TIME4MAPS, dynamic layout:
<iFrame id="T4M_Frame" src="http://apps1.glues.geo.tu-dresden.de:8080/GeoMetaFacet/time4maps_blank.html?service="YOUR-WMS-URL"&version=1.1.1&layer="YOUR-LAYER-NAMES"" />

COMPARE2MAPS (without website heading):
<iFrame id="C2M_Frame" src="http://geoportal-glues.ufz.de/Time4Maps/index_compare.jsp?url="YOUR-WMS-URL"&version=1.1.1&layer="YOUR-LAYER-NAMES"&url2="YOUR-WMS-URL"&version2=1.1.1&layer2="YOUR-LAYER-NAMES" />

COMPARE2MAPS (with website heading):
<iFrame id="C2M_Frame" src="http://geoportal-glues.ufz.de/Time4Maps/start_compare.jsp?url="YOUR-WMS-URL"&version=1.1.1&layer="YOUR-LAYER-NAMES"&url2="YOUR-WMS-URL"&version2=1.1.1&layer2="YOUR-LAYER-NAMES" />

Your are using or would like to use TIME4MAPS? Please tell us!
We would like to provide you with information about new features, updates as well as maintenance.
Suggestions for improvements and ideas for new features are also welcome.


The Web client TIME4MAPS is implemented and tested with the help of available Web services in GLUES (see link to GLUES metadata catalog below). There are some limitations due to the supported time formats and products.

Allowed time formats, features and restrictions:

Known server or library bugs (that are fixed programmatically) in the TIME4MAPS source code:

TIME4MAPS is tested with several WMS server products, such as:


TIME4MAPS is implemented in Java, Javascript and HTML. The backend implementation (Java) handles WMS Capabilities and FeatureInfo requests. TIME4MAPS uses several JAVA libraries for realizing the servlet, providing JSON data to the frontend and handling time parameters (servlet-api, jackson-all 1.8.2, joda-time-1.6.2). The frontend implementation (Javascript, HTML, CSS) is responsible for the visualization. TIME4MAPS uses several Javascript libraries for displaying the map and layouting the website (Openlayers 2, Dojo 1.9).
The source code for the core logic components as well as the dynamic layout is available on the Web platform GitHub and is published as part of the GeoMetaFacet application under the Apache Software License, 2.0. The GeoMetaFacet project is a contribution to the 52°North Metadata Management Community, which can be joined by any interested developers (see links below). Further detailed source code descriptions are available on the GitHub page.
Further parts of the Web clients, e.g. COMPARE2MAPS website source code, will be updated soon. Furthermore, updates to Openlayers 3 are in preparation and will be available soon, too.

Further information & links

Source code and detailed information are available on the project website: GitHub Repository.
Information about vision, mission and participation in the 52°North community is available: Metadata Management Community.
Forum to the related 52°North community is available: Metadata Management Community Forum.
An overview of Web services used or developed in GLUES is available: GLUES Metadata catalogue.

If you have any technical questions, please contact Christin Henzen (Christin.Henzen [at] tu-dresden.de). For general questions about the GLUES project please contact Stephan Mäs (Stephan.Maes [at] tu-dresden.de).

Time4Maps is implemented with the help of the latest libraries. Unfortunately some of these libraries (e.g. OpenLayers 3) do not provide full functionality for all browsers. Currently, the GLUES application is tested with Internet Explorer 9, Mozilla 29, Chrome 34, Safari 5.1, Opera 21 and higher versions, but is not available for Internet Explorer 8 or earlier versions.