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Local statistical spatial analysis: Inventory and prospect

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The past decade has witnessed extensive development of measures that examine characteristics of spatial subsets (local spaces) defined with respect to a complete data set (global space). Such procedures have evolved independently in fields such as geography, GIS, cartography, remote sensing, and landscape ecology. Collectively, we label these procedures as local spatial methods. We focus on those methods that share a common goal of identifying subsets whose characteristics are statistically 'significant' in some way. We propose the concept of local spatial statistical analysis (LoSSA) both as an integrative structure for existing methods and as a framework that facilitates the development of new local and global statistics. By formalizing what is involved when a particular local statistic is used, LoSSA helps to reveal the key features and limitations of the procedure. These include a consideration of the nature of the spatial subsets, their spatial relationship to the complete data set, and the relationship between a given global statistic and the corresponding local statistics computed for the data set.
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Keywords: Exploratory spatial-data analysis; Local statistics; Spatial statistics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5, Canada 2: Center for Spatial Information Science, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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