This is the era of Big Data and computational social science. It is an era that requires tools which can do more than visualise data but also model the complex relation between data and human action, and interaction. Agent-Based Models (ABM) - computational models which simulate human action and interaction – do just that. This textbook explains how to design and build ABM and how to link the models to Geographical Information Systems. It guides you from the basics through to constructing more complex models which work with data and human behaviour in a spatial context. All of the fundamental concepts are explained and related to practical examples to facilitate learning (with models developed in NetLogo with all code examples available on the accompanying website). You will be able to use these models to develop your own applications and link, where appropriate, to Geographical Information Systems. All of the key ideas and methods are explained in detail: • geographical modelling; • an introduction to ABM; • the fundamentals of Geographical Information Science; • why ABM and GIS; • using QGIS; • designing and building an ABM; • calibration and validation; • modelling human behaviour; • visualisation and 3D ABM; • using Big Geosocial Data, GIS and ABM. An applied primer, that provides fundamental knowledge and practical skills, it will provide you with the skills to build and run your own models, and to begin your own research projects.

Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems

Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems

Chapter Outline

This chapter presents the main concepts and terminology that students require to understand geographical information systems. The main data types are presented, along with a discussion of relevant issues such as accuracy and precision. A brief overview of the development of GIS is given along with a flavour of the main software available. Using QGIS, we demonstrate how to prepare and manipulate some example GIS data. Where appropriate, we highlight the main issues that need to be considered when using a GIS and agent-based modelling.

5.1 Introduction

Whatever occurs, occurs in space and time. Therefore our perception of the world is inherently spatial and temporal: objects have a location, and events are embedded in a stream ...

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