If odometer provides cumulative data. Then which type of data speedometer provides ?

I mean that every measurement of that type of data is a separate value and do not depends on previous or next one in opposite to cumulative data.

How we can describe this type of data in English?

  • Have you considered individual or discrete?
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 12:54
  • 1
    Discrete is good, I like it and clearly understand it. Thanks.
    – remort
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 13:04
  • Velocity's an integral of acceleration, while displacement's an integral of velocity. That is, both speed and distance are cumulative quantities. Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


The speedometer provides instantaneous data: it shows the value at that instant.

When using GRIDc data, note that there are two types of data available: Instantaneous and Cumulative.

Temperature is what we call instantaneous data. Instantaneous data does not require manipulation. In other words, at any given time, you can look up the data, and without manipulation, find the exact value you are looking for. Wind speed is another example that fits in the category.


  • 1
    This is correct as in physics, a speedometer shows the instantaneous speed of the vehicle as opposed to the "average speed" which is a result of a calculation of two different variables called distance and time.
    – gelolopez
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 13:00
  • 1
    Though it's an official term, i didn't know, it is probably the answer to my question. Thank you Andrew ! But I also like the word 'discrete' mentioned above. It looks more simple for ordinary people.
    – remort
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 13:03

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