Skip to main content

Geometric probability and GIS: some applications for the statistics of intersections

Buy Article:

$60.90 plus tax (Refund Policy)


This paper identifies analytical and empirical methods for determining the probability that lines and areas intersect tiles in a regular tessellation. Such intersections are common in geographical information systems (GIS) applications. Knowledge of intersection probabilities is valuable in many instances, including estimating complexity and time required to process a distance or viewshed operation, developing optimal tiling schemes for national georeferencing systems, precalculating the number of map sheets a spatial feature may occupy, and identifying appropriate cell resolutions for vector-to-raster conversions. Buffon's Needle-type solutions from the field of geometric probability provide the framework for deriving probabilities for lines. Probabilities for simple areas like rectangles and circles are derived using geometric techniques and illustrated using hypothetical examples. Employing such probabilities in spatial analysis may yield more rigorous and theoretically informed results from GIS analysis, leading to better decisions and greater insight into spatial phenomena.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more