Spatial data analysis

This method comprises techniques used to analyse spatial (geographic) data. Such techniques include Thiessen polygon analysis, the X-tent principle, cost/friction analysis and network analysis, among others.

  • Thiessen polygon analysis: The use of Voronoi diagrams to analyse spatially distributed data (such as rainfall measurements). A Voronoi diagram is a lattice illustrating the distances to a discrete set of objects in a metric space.

  • X-tent principle: The inference of the size of a centre’s territory from settlement size, population and storage capacity.

  • Cost/friction analysis: The determination of a distance measure based on the minimisation of friction or cost for a single path or an entire surface.

  • Network analysis: The analysis of flow diagrams relating to topologically linked data. For example, identification of the shortest path between two locations on a road network.

  • Spatial accessibility analysis: The determination of a total measure of how reachable locations are from a given location.

  • Spatial buffering and proximity analysis: a buffer can be generated around a point, line and area with a given distance.

  • Line-of-sight and/or viewshed analysis: The use of the elevation value of each cell of a DEM (Digital Elevation Model) to determine visibility to or from a particular cell, for example to locate communication towers.

  • Predictive spatial modelling: The analysis of events through a geographic filter in order to make statements of likelihood for their occurrence or emergence.

  • Spatial filtering/smoothing: The removal or reduction of local noise or high frequency signal within spatial data, to reveal a global pattern or trend.

Related methods include Geo-referencing and projection, Overlaying and Photogrammetry.

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