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 Quote by Matterwave Depending on your metric, it's either equal to the proper time, or equal to the squareroot of the negative of the square of the proper time (i.e. $ds=\sqrt{-d\tau^2}$).
Then if the spacetime interval is timelike it is numerically equal to the proper time.
If the spacetime interval is spacelike then it is numerically equal to the proper distance ?