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Spatial Analysis

  • By: Paul A. Longley
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Analysis is “spatial” if the results of an experiment or investigation are likely to depend on how the bounding frame of a representation is delineated. A “representation” can be thought of as any kind of simplification of the seeming infinite complexity of reality—as encapsulated, for example, in the ontologies that structure digital representation in geographic information systems (GIS) and geographic information science (GIScience). The frame may be used to bound any space, at any scale, anywhere—so one can conduct spatial analysis of the organs of the human body, for example, or of the canals of Mars. In definitional terms, the realm of geographical analysis is somewhat more restrictive in that it pertains to analysis of Earth's surface or near surface at scales that range from ...

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