“There are two ways to learn about statistics. You could endure pages of maths and formulae, or you could learn from informative case studies exploring how, when and why data is used well or badly in today's society. I prefer the second option. Happily, the authors do too.” - Richard Harris, University of Bristol This is not your typical statistics textbook. The amount of data produced by and presented in the media has never been greater. But can we trust what we are being shown? In an age of fake news, how can you understand what data is real, misleading, or simply plain wrong? This book shows you how to critically evaluate the data you see in the media. It weaves everyday real-life examples with statistical concepts in a way that makes statistics come alive. No complex equations, no overly technical language. This isn’t just learning the techniques needed to pass a stats course. This is a book for anyone who reads (or writes) the news, watches adverts, or goes on the Internet. It will give you tools and knowledge you can apply every day to make sense of the use, and misuse, of data in the media.

Mapping patterns and people: ‘Why does geography matter?’

Mapping patterns and people: ‘Why does geography matter?’

Mapping patterns and people: ‘Why does geography matter?’

Key concepts

spatial aggregation, political maps, classifying people and places (geodemographics), the ecological fallacy, the ‘modifiable areal unit problem’

7.1 Introduction

This chapter tries to convey the idea that geography matters. That is, the way we apply geographic units in statistical analysis can have a big influence on how we understand the world. For example, if someone asks you ‘what’s the population of New York?’, you might be tempted to answer ‘about 8.5 million people’, because that is roughly the population of the five boroughs of New York City. Yet someone else might answer ‘about 20 million’ and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, because this is the population of the wider Metropolitan ...

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