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Exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) is an approach to the analysis of spatial data employing a number of techniques, many of which are graphical or interactive. It aims to uncover patterns in the data without rigorously specified statistical models. For geographical information, the graphical techniques employed often involve the use of interactive maps linked to other kinds of statistical data displays or graphical techniques other than maps that convey information about the spatial arrangement of data and how this relates to other attributes.

In 20th-century statistics, one of the major areas of development is that of statistical inference. This is a formal approach to data analysis, in which a probabilistic model is put forward for a given data set and either: (a) an attempt to estimate ...

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