Coast to Coast Seminar Series: "The importance of spatial analysis when modeling social systems"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
11:30 - 12:30

Dr. Martin A. Andresen
School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University


When modeling complex social systems many dimensions need to be considered. In this presentation, I argue that space, or geography, is one of those necessary dimensions. Beginning with a brief overview of "ecological" investigations that use spatially-referenced data but do not always map the data, I show the utility of mapping this information in a number of ways. First, I show how visualizing data allows for a clearer picture of your research area to emerge. Second, this is followed by the use of exploratory spatial data analysis and identifying the strength of spatial relationships. Third, I provide a brief overview of classical versus spatial regression techniques. Fourth, I discuss the importance of local spatial statistics, both as an exploratory tool and in an inferential context. Lastly, I discuss the importance of scale in any spatial analysis using a recently developed spatial point pattern test.