Visualising Transformations of Geographical Time–Space by Transport Systems. The Case of Germany, 1990–2020

Johannes Moser, Fabian Wenner, Alain L’Hostis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


By accelerating the overcoming of space on certain relations, transport systems alter the accessibility of places and distort geographical time–space. Particularly in the case of discontinuous and tiered transport systems such as (high-speed) rail networks, effects on time–space can be highly selective and difficult to visualise. This paper compares different methods of operationalisation and visualisation of the effects of new transport systems (infrastructures and services) on time–space, and examines their strengths and weaknesses, using the example of the evolution of the German rail network between 1990 and 2020. The methods are well-known ones such as isochrones, choropleths using measures from network theory, anamorphosis (cartograms) and less-known ones as spring maps and the shrivelling model. For the examination of the readability of the methods, we present relevant properties for time–space maps. The results suggest that conventional methods are simpler to interpret, but fail to convey certain properties, while less frequently used methods may be better at incorporating the properties at the cost of being more difficult to read.

Translated title of the contributionVisualisierungen geografischer Zeit-Raum-Transformationen durch Transportsysteme am Beispiel Deutschlands 1990–2020
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-315
Number of pages15
JournalKN - Journal of Cartography and Geographic Information
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Accessibility
  • High-speed rail
  • Time–space
  • Visualisation


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