206 pages, colour & b/w illustrations, colour & b/w maps
What is the shortest route between one point and another in a road network? Where is the incidence of disease the highest? How does rainfall correlate with altitude? How does the concentration of a pollutant vary in space, and where do high concentrations correlate with densely populated areas? Geographical or spatial data play a vital role in many parts of daily life. We are dependent on information about where things are located and about the attributes of those things, either directly, as in the use of a map for navigating around a city, or indirectly, where we use resources like water or gas.
Making use of spatial data requires a whole set of approaches to extract information from those data and make them useful. Underpinning these approaches is the analysis of data. This book introduces key principles about spatial data and provides guidance on methods for their exploration; it provides a set of key ideas or frameworks that will give the reader knowledge of the kinds of problems that can be tackled using the tools that are widely available for the analysis of spatial data.
The approach is gradual and systematic; the initial focus is on themes that follow through the rest of the book. These key ideas are introduced, illustrated and restated to ensure that readers develop a clear understanding of them. Beyond careful explanations, a clear understanding is fostered still further by numerous worked examples and case studies. In short, the stress is on first principles and reinforcement of key ideas throughout - on education rather than simply training, based on the conviction that users of spatial data analysis tools should know something about how the approaches work rather than simply how to apply them.
It has long been this reviewers contention that if a student is taught the fundamentals and theory of geographic information systems, then all one has to ask is how does a particular software package do what I need? With this textbook Lloyd has achieved what he stated and provides a great resource for understanding advanced topics in spatial data analysis.
- Joe Aufmuth, University of Florida in Journal of Spatial Science
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