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A History of the Concept of Spatial Autocorrelation: A Geographer's Perspective

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Spatial autocorrelation is a concept that helps to define the field of spatial analysis. It is central to studies using spatial statistics and spatial econometrics. In this paper, we trace the early development of the concept and explain the academic links that brought the concept to the fore in the late 1960s. In geography, the importance of the work of Michael F. Dacey, Andrew D. Cliff, and J. Keith Ord is emphasized. Later, with the publication of a volume on spatial econometrics by Luc Anselin, spatial research and the use of the concept of spatial autocorrelation received a considerable boost. These developments are outlined together with comments about recent and possible future trends in spatial autocorrelation-based research.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, San Diego State University, San Diego, California

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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