GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2005, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (3): 464-472.doi: 10.11821/yj2005030015

• Earth Surface Processes • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Techniques of spatial data analysis

WANG Jin-feng, WU Ji-lei, SUN Ying-jun, LI Lian-fa, MENG Bin   

  1. State Key Lab of Resources and Environment Information System, Institute of GeographicSciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2004-10-16 Revised:2005-01-28 Online:2005-06-15 Published:2005-06-15


GIS is a geo-referenced data based system for manipulating digital spatial and thematic data. Because of its unique properties of spatial data (spatial dependence and spatial heterogeneity), there is an urgent need to investigate the mechanisms of spatial processes through exploring spatial data. The techniques of spatial analysis can be categorized into six groups: (1) generation of spatial data and its preliminary treatment; (2) spatialization of attribute data and scale transformation of spatial data; (3) visualization and exploration of spatial data; (4) geo-statistics; (5) analysis of lattice data; and (6) reversing information from complicated spatial data. To meet the real world solutions, a procedural diagram of spatial data analysis is suggested as below: (1) preliminary data treatment; (2) modeling; (3) solution; and (4) interpretation. Various techniques are being employed to investigate spatial processes, the identical study objective and some common characteristics of the study object may lead to the integration and convergence of the various approaches, and further the introduction of a general science: spatial mathematics. A same important issue is to develop robust spatial analysis computer packages for public uses.

Key words: GIS, spatial data, spatial process, spatial analysis, implications of mechanism