All events have space and time coordinates attached to them—they happen somewhere at some time. In many areas of epidemiology, recording the place of individual events and exposure is vitally important. The recent surge in the availability of desktop computing power, geographical information systems (GIS) software, and interest in the effect of neighborhood conditions on development of disease have caused a resurgence of interest in spatial data analysis.

Types of Spatial Data

Spatial data consist of measurements or observations taken at specific locations or within specific spatial areas. In addition to values for various attributes of interest, spatial data sets also include the locations or relative positions of the data values. There are three main types of spatial data. The first type of data, geostatistical data, is ...

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