The SAGE Handbook of Spatial Analysis

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Edited by: A. Stewart Fotheringham & Peter A. Rogerson

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  • Introduction

    WHAT IS SPATIAL ANALYSIS? Spatial data contain locational information as well as attribute information. That is, they are data for which some attribute is recorded at different locations and these locations are coded as part of the data. Spatial analysis is a general term to describe a technique that uses this locational information in order to better understand the processes generating the observed attribute values.

    Spatial analysis is important because it is increasingly recognized that most data are spatial. Examples of common types of spatial data include census data, traffic counts, patient records, the incidence of a disease, the location of facilities and services, the addresses of school pupils, customer databases, and the distributions of animal, insect or plant species. Along with various attributes collected by hand or by different types of sensors, location is also being captured by an increasing variety of technologies such as GPS, WiMAX, LiDAR, and radio frequency identity (RFID) tags as well as by more traditional means such as surveys and censuses. Some of the resulting data sets can be extremely large. Satellites, for example, regularly record terrabytes of spatial data; LiDAR scanners can capture millions of geocoded data points in minutes; and GPS-encoded spatial video generally produces 24 frames per second each of which may have around a million geocoded pixels. The world is rapidly becoming one large spatial sensor with RFID tags, CCTV cameras and GPS linked devices recording the location of objects, animals and people.

    Spatial data and the processes generating such data have several properties that distinguish them from their aspatial equivalents. Firstly, the data are typically not independent of each other. Attribute values in nearby places tend to be more similar than are attribute values drawn from locations far away from each other. This is a useful property when it comes to predicting unknown values because we can use the information that an unknown attribute value is likely to be similar to neighbouring, known values. The subfield of geostatistics has grown up based on this premise. However, if data values do exhibit spatial autocorrelation, this causes problems for statistical techniques that assume data are drawn from independent random samples. Special statistical methods, such as spatial regression models, have been developed to overcome this problem. Equally, it is often hard to defend the assumption of stationarity in spatial processes. That is, it is often assumed that the process generating the observed data is the same everywhere. Spatial non-stationarity exists where the process varies across space. Again, special statistics, such as Geographically Weighted Regression, have been developed to handle this problem.

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    Notes on Contributors

    Andrew B. Lawson is Professor in the Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology at the Medical University of South Carolina. His research interests focus on the development of statistical methods in spatial and environmental epidemiology, disease surveillance, health data mining and space–time problems, directional statistics and environmetrics. Professor Lawson is a WHO advisor in Disease Mapping and Risk Assessment. He has a wide range of publications in the area of epidemiology, including 8 books and over 20 book chapters, and he gave numerous invited courses on spatial epidemiology in the UK, Sweden, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA.

    Atsuyuki Okabe received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and the degree of Doctor of Engineering from the University of Tokyo. He is currently Professor of the Department of Urban Engineering at the University of Tokyo where he served as Director of the Center for Spatial Information Science (1998–2005). Professor Okabe's research interests include GIS, spatial analysis, and spatial optimization, and he has published many papers in journals, books and conference proceedings on these topics. He is a co-author of Spatial Tessellations: Concepts and Applications of Voronoi Diagrams (John Wiley, 2000), the editor of GIS-based Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Taylor & Francis, 2005). He serves on the Editorial Boards of seven international journals including International Journal of Geographical Information Science.

    Chris Brunsdon is Professor of geographic information at the Department of Geography, Leicester University. His research interests include the methodologies underlying spatial statistical analysis and GIS. In particular he is interested in the analysis of crime patterns, house prices and health-related data. Professor Brunsdon has played a role in the development of Geographically Weighted Regression, a technique of analysis that models geographical variations in the relationships between variables. He is member of Editorial Board of Computers Environment and Urban Systems.

    Christopher D. Lloyd is Lecturer in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at the Queen's University, Belfast. His research interests focus on the analysis of spatial data (in both social and environmental contexts), geostatistics, spatial analysis, remote sensing and archaeology. His research key concern has been with the use and development of local models for spatial analysis. Dr Lloyd is author of Local Models for Spatial Analysis (Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2006) and co-author of The Atlas of the Island of Ireland: Mapping Social and Economic Change (Maynooth: AIRO/ICLRD, 2008).

    David Martin is Professor in the School of Geography, University of Southampton. He is director of the ESRC Census Programme and a co-director of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods. His research interests include socioeconomic application of GIS, census population modeling, census geography design and geography of health. He is co-editor of GIS and Geocomputation (Taylor and Francis, 2000), The Census Data System (Wiley, 2002) and Methods in Human Geography: a Guide for Students Doing a Research Project, Second Edition (Pearson, 2005). Professor Martin is a member of the editorial advisory boards of Transactions in GIS, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers and associate editor of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society – Series A: Statistics in Society.

    David W. Wong is Professor in the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, at George Mason University. His research interests fall into three main categories: investigating the modifiable areal unit problem (MAUP) effects; spatial dimensions of segregation and ethnic diversity; and GIS applications of spatial analytical techniques. He has co-authored two books: Statistical Analysis with ArcView (Wiley & Sons, 2001) and Statistical Analysis and Modeling of Geographic Information (Wiley & Sons, 2005). He has served as reviewer for various journals, funding agencies and organizations. He is on the editorial board of several journals: Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Geographical Analysis, and Journal of Geographic Information Sciences.

    Dimitris Ballas is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield. He received his PhD in Geography from the University of Leeds in 2001. His research interests include economic geography; spatial dimensions of socio-economic polarisation and income and wealth inequalities; socio-economic applications of GIS; geographical impact of area-based and national social policies; basic income policies; and social justice; geography of happiness and well-being. He is the lead author of the book “Geography matters: simulating the impacts of national social policies” and a co-author of the books “Post-Suburban Europe: Planning and Politics at the Margins of Europe's Capital Cities” and “Poverty, wealth and place in Britain, 1968 to 2005”. He has fifteen papers in peer-reviewed international academic journals, eight peer-reviewed edited book chapters and over fifty conference papers.

    Eric Delmelle is Assistant Professor in the Geography and Earth Sciences Department at the University of North Carolina (Charlotte) where he teaches GIS, geovisualization and spatial optimization. He received his PhD in geography from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research interests focus on spatial sampling optimization and geostatistics, nonlinear allocation problems, geovisualization and GIS.

    Geoffrey M. Jacquez is President of BioMedware Incorporated, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan. He received his PhD from the Department of Ecology and Evolution at State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Jacquez develops and applies spatial statistics to elucidate underlying space–time processes in the environmental, biological and health sciences. His research includes applications in disease clustering, epidemiology, environmental monitoring and population genetics. Dr. Jacquez is currently Principal Investigator on three grants from the National Cancer Institute to develop spatial statistical methods and software. He also publishes extensively in the fields of spatial statistics, GIS and epidemiology.

    Graham Clarke is Professor in the School of Geography, Faculty of Environment at the University of Leeds. His research interests include GIS, urban services, retail and business geography, urban modelling and geography of crime, income and welfare. Dr Clarke is co-author of Geography Matters (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2005), and Retail Geography and Intelligent Network Planning (Wiley, Chichester, 2002). He is committee member of The Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences, Executive Director of Regional Science Association International and serves on the Editorial Board of European Journal of Geography.

    Harvey J. Miller is Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Utah. His research and teaching interests include GIS, spatial analysis and geocomputational techniques applied to understanding how transportation and communication technologies shape individual lives and urban morphology. Since 1989, he has published approximately 50 papers in journals, books and conference proceedings on these topics. He is co-author of Geographic Information Systems for Transportation: Principles and Applications (Oxford University Press, 2001) and co-editor of Geographic Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery (Taylor and Francis, 2001) and Societies and Cities in the Age of Instant Access (Springer, 2007). Harvey serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals and in 2005–2011 he is serving as co-Chair of the Transportation Research Board, Committee on Spatial Data and Information Science of U.S. National Academies.

    Jaymie R. Meliker is Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine in the Medical Center at State University of New York at Stony Brook. He received his PhD in 2006 from the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Meliker's research contributes to the fields of exposure science, GIScience, health geography, and environmental epidemiology by developing methodologies for integrating sources of spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal variability in environmental health applications. Prior to joining Stony Brook, he worked as a Research Scientist at BioMedware, Inc., pioneering the development of spatio-temporal software and statistical algorithms for addressing public health concerns.

    Luc Anselin is Faculty Excellence Professor and Director of the Spatial Analysis Laboratory in the Department of Geography at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is also a Senior Research Associate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC. Dr. Anselin's research deals with various aspects of spatial data analysis and geographic information science, ranging from exploratory spatial data analysis to geocomputation, spatial statistics and spatial econometrics. He has published widely on topics dealing with spatial and regional analysis, including a much cited book on Spatial Econometrics (Kluwer, 1988); over a hundred refereed journal articles and book chapters, as well as a large number of reports and technical publications.

    Lance A. Waller is Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. His research involves the development of statistical methods to analyze spatial and spatio-temporal patterns. His recent areas of interest include spatial point process methods in alcohol epidemiology and conservation biology (sea turtle nesting patterns), and hierarchical models in disease ecology. Dr Waller is Chair of American Statistical Association – Section on Statistics and the Environment (2008). He is also President-Elect of International Biometric Society – Eastern North American Region (2008), and serves as Associate Editor of Biometrics, Bayesian Analysis.

    Manfred M. Fischer is Professor of Economic Geography and Director of Institute for Economic Geography and GIScience at Vienna University of Economics and Business. His research spans a broad array of fields including regional and urban economics, housing and labor market research, transportation systems analysis, innovation economics, spatial behavior and decision processes, spatial analysis and spatial statistics, and GIS. He is one of the leading scholars in the field of GeoComputation. Based on the expertise and the scientific impact Dr. Fischer has gained a high reputation both nationally and internationally. In 1995 he was elected as a member of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences, in 1996 as a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and in 1999 as a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Fischer has published over 250 scientific publications, including 28 monographs and edited books.

    Marie-Josée Fortin is Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Head of Landscape Ecology Laboratory at the University of Toronto, Canada. She has four main research areas: spatial ecology, forest ecology, landscape ecology and spatial statistics. She is co-author of Spatial Analysis: A Guide for Ecologists (Cambridge University Press, 2005), and has published over 150 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, conferences, and invited lectures. Professor Fortin is assistant editor for Theoretical Ecology, subject editor for Ecology and Ecology Monographs, and Editorial Board member of Ecosystems.

    Mark Dale is Professor in the Department of Biological Science and Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Alberta, Canada. He received his PhD from Dalhousie University, Canada. His current research interests involve methods for detecting and analyzing the spatial relationships of plants in populations and communities and spatial analysis and spatial statistics with applications in ecological systems. Professor Dale is co-author of Spatial Analysis: A Guide for Ecologists. (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and he served as an associate editor for Canadian Journal of Botany.

    Michael F. Goodchild is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also serves as Chair of the Executive Committee for the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA), and Director of NCGIA's Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science. His current research interests center on GIS, spatial analysis, the future of the library, and uncertainty in geographic data. His major publications include Geographical Information Systems: Principles and Applications (1991); Environmental Modeling with GIS (1993); Accuracy of Spatial Databases (1989); GIS and Environmental Modeling: Progress and Research Issues (1996); Scale in Remote Sensing and GIS (1997); Interoperating Geographic Information Systems (1999); and Geographical Information Systems: Principles, Techniques, Management and Applications (1999); in addition he is author of some 300 scientific papers. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Educator of the Year Award from the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc., the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Intergraph Award and the Horwood Critique Prize of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association.

    Morton E. O'Kelly is Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at the Ohio State University. His research interests include location theory, transportation, network design and optimization, spatial analysis and GIS. Dr. O'Kelly co-authored two books: Geography of Transportation, 2nd edition (Prentice Hall, 1996) and Spatial Interaction Models: Formulations and Applications (Kluwer Academic: Amsterdam, 1989), as well as over 75 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

    Peter M. Atkinson is Professor and Head of School of Geography and Director of the University Centre for Geographical Health Research at the University of Southampton. His research interests focus on geostatistics, spatial statistics, remote sensing, and spatially distributed dynamic modelling applications for environmental problems and hazards. He is co-editor of International Journal of Remote Sensing Letters and associate editor of International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. Professor Atkinson is also Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

    Peter A. Rogerson is Professor of Geography and Biostatistics at the University at Buffalo. His research interests are in the area of demography and population change, epidemiology, spatial statistics and spatial analysis. His current work is focused upon the development of new methods for the quick detection of newly emergent clusters in geographic data. Professor Rogerson has authored and co-authored four books with the most recent Statistical Detection and Monitoring of Geographic Clusters (Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2008), and over 85 research papers in peer-reviewed journals. He also developed GeoSurveillance 1.1: Software for Monitoring Change in Geographic Patterns.

    Pusheng Zhang is currently with the Microsoft Virtual Earth team. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota. His research interests include local search engine design, spatial and temporal databases, data mining and geographic information retrieval. Dr Zhang is a member of the IEEE Computer Society.

    Ranga Raju Vatsavai received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota where he also worked as Research Fellow in Remote Sensing Laboratory. Currently Dr Vatsavai is employed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His broad research interests are centered on spatial and spatio-temporal databases and data mining.

    Reginald G. Golledge is a Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include behavioral geography, spatial cognition, cognitive mapping, individual decision-making, household activity patterns and the acquisition and use of spatial knowledge across the life-span. Professor Golledge has written or edited 14 books, more than 50 chapters in books, and over 120 papers in academic journals, and 80 miscellaneous publications including technical reports, book reviews, and published research notes. He has presented more than 100 papers at local, regional, national, and international conferences in geography, regional science, planning, psychology, and statistics. Professor Golledge received an Association of American Geographers (AAG) Honors Award in 1981. He is an Honorary Life-Time Member of the Institutes of Australian Geographers and a Fellow of the AmericanAssociation for the Advancement of Science. He received an International Geography Gold Medal Award from the LAG in 1999. In 1998 he was elected Vice President of the AAG; in 1999–2000 he was elected AAG President.

    Robin A. Dubin is Professor of Economics in the Weatherhead school of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Her research interests involve urban and regional economics, real estate, and spatial econometrics. Professor Dubin has published numerous research papers in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, conferences, and invited lectures.

    Robert Haining is Professor of Human Geography at Cambridge University. Between 2002 and 2007 he was Head of Geography Department at Cambridge University. Professor Haining has published extensively in the field of spatial data analysis, with particular reference to applications in the areas of economic geography, medical geography and the geography of crime. His interests also include the integration of spatial data analysis with GIS and he developed SAGE, a software system for analysing area health data. His previous book, Spatial Data Analysis in the Social and Environmental Sciences (Cambridge University Press, 1993) was well received and cited internationally. Professor Haining is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Geographical Systems and Computational Statistics.

    Shashi Shekhar is McKnight Distinguished University Professor in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA. His research interests include spatial databases, spatial data mining, GIS, and intelligent transportation systems. He is a co-author of a textbook on Spatial Databases (Prentice Hall, 2003), co-edited the Encyclopedia of GIS, (Springer, 2008) and has published over 200 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, books, conferences, and workshops. He is co-Editor-in-Chief of Geo-Informatica: An International Journal on Advance in Computer Science for GIS and has served on the editorial boards of Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering.

    A. Stewart Fotheringham is Science Foundation Ireland Research Professor and Director of the National Centre for Geocomputation at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth. His research interests include: the integration of spatial analysis and GIS; spatial statistics, exploratory spatial data analysis and spatial modelling. He is one of the originators of Geographically Weighted Regression. Professor Fotheringham is a founding editor of Transactions in GIS and is on a number of editorial boards, including Geographical Analysis, Annals of the Association of American Geographers and Geographical Systems. He has published six books, over 20 book chapters and over 100 journal articles.

    Sudipto Banerjee is Associate Professor in the Division of Biostatistics at the University of Minnesota. He received his PhD in Statistics from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Dr Banerjee's research focuses upon the analysis of data arising from spatial processes, Bayesian interpolation and prediction (methods and smoothness of spatial processes. He is also interested in the application of Bayesian methodology in biostatistics. Dr. Banerjee has co-authored a textbook on spatial statistics, Hierarchical Modeling and Analysis for Spatial Data (CRC Press/Chapman and Hall, 2004), was a field editor for the Encyclopedia of GIS (Springer, 2008) and serves as Associate Editor for Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C (Applied Statistics), Statistics in Medicine and Bayesian Analysis.

    Urška Demšar is a lecturer at the National Center for Geocomputation at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She has a PhD in Geoinformatics from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Her research interests include Geovisual Analytics and Geovisualisation. She is combining computational and statistical methods with geovisualisation for knowledge discovery from spatial data. Additionally, she is interested in spatial analysis and mathematical modelling of spatial phenomena. She has an established cooperation with researchers at the Helsinki University of Technology with whom she is working on spatial analysis of networks for crisis management.

    Vijay Gandhi is Masters Student in Computer Science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. After graduating from Computer Science and Engineering at Madras University he worked in the field of business intelligence and data warehousing. Currently he is involved in research on spatial databases and spatial data mining.

    Vincent B. Robinson is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. His research interests involve intelligent geographic information systems, geographical modelling, and remote sensing, land use/cover change, biogeography and landscape ecology. Professor Robinson published extensively on issues and challenges of incorporating fuzzy sets technique in ecological modeling. He is also Executive Committee Member of Project Open Source, Open Access at the University of Toronto.

    Toshiaki Satoh is currently a researcher in Research & Development Center of PASCO Corporation, a surveying and GIS consulting company. He received a Bachelor's degree from Tohoku University in 1992, a Master's degree from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1994 and Ph.D. of Eng. degree from the University of Tokyo in 2007, respectively. His main interests of research are network spatial analysis and computer visualization.


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