Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Spatial Statistics with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Peter Bruce (President and Founder- says, “Wandering around Memphis, TN recently, I was able to use my phone to tell me the value of a mansion I was passing by, and locate the hotel famous for letting ducks use the elevator.  I could also have used it to find Graceland, but some tasks still lie well within the realm of the human brain. Location data is now the fastest growing type of data, and its effective use is the province of spatial statistics.”

Learn more about the statistical foundations of geospatial analysis in David Unwin's online course "Spatial Statistics with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)," at For more detail please check at

Course Program:

Course outline: The course is structured as follows

SESSION 1: Some Basics:
·         Geographical data
·         Statistics
·         Describing spatial data using maps

SESSION 2: The Analysis of Patterns in Point Data:
·         Introductory methods for detecting non-randomness in dot/pin map distributions

SESSION 3: The Analysis of Patterns in Area Data:
·         Detecting and measuring spatial autocorrelation in lattice data

SESSION 4: The Analysis of Continuous Field Data:
·         Creating contour-type maps using inverse distance weighting and geostatistical methods

Note that the course does not concentrate on the analysis of spatially continuous data using methods that are collectively referred to as geostatistics. Lesson 4 has a brief introduction to the basic concepts as used in interpolation, but this is all.

In this course the homework is a mixture of some simple exercises and consists of guided data analysis problems using public domain software.
In addition to assigned readings, this course also has an end of course data modeling project, and supplemental video lectures.

The instructor, Dr. David Unwin, is Emeritus Chair of Geography at Birkbeck College, and Visiting Professor in the Department of Geomatic Engineering at University College, both in the University of London. His work using and developing spatial statistics in research stretches back some 40 years, and he has authored over a hundred academic papers in the field, together with a series of texts, of which the most recent are his “Geographic Information Analysis, 2nd edition” (with D. O'Sullivan, 2010) and a series of edited collections at the interface between geography and computer science in “Visualization in GIS” (Hearnshaw and Unwin, 1994), “Spatial Analytical Perspectives on GIS” (Fischer, Scholten and Unwin, 1996) “Virtual Reality in Geography” (Fisher and Unwin, 2002) and, most recently representation issues in “Re-presenting GIS” (Fisher and Unwin, 2005). Having developed the world's first wholly internet-delivered Master's program in GIS in 1998, David Unwin has considerable experience of teaching and tutoring online.  Participants can ask questions and exchange comments directly with Dr. Unwin via a private discussion board during the course.

Aim of the course:
Spatial analysis often uses methods adapted from conventional analysis to address problems in which spatial location is the most important explanatory variable. This course, which is directed particularly to students with backgrounds in either computing or statistics but who lack a background in the necessary geospatial concepts, will explain and give examples of the analysis that can be conducted in a geographic information system such as ArcGIS or Mapinfo. The motivation is simple: it is one thing to run a GIS, but quite another to use it analytically to help answer questions such as:

- Is there an unusual cluster of crimes/cases of a disease here that we need to worry about?
- Do these data show variation across the country that I need to know about?
- What is the most probable air temperature here?

In the course we will explore methods that enable answers to be given to these, and similar, questions involving spatial variation.

Who Should Take This Course?
Analysts and researchers who need to know how to use and interpret the data from Geographic Information Systems (GIS's), including those in environmental analysis and management, banking, insurance, logistics, law enforcement services, defence, media, real estate, retail and more.

You will be able to ask questions and exchange comments with the instructors via a private discussion board throughout the course.   The courses take place online at in a series of 4 weekly lessons and assignments, and require about 15 hours/week.  Participate at your own convenience; there are no set times when you must be online. You have the flexibility to work a bit every day, if that is your preference, or concentrate your work in just a couple of days.

We, the Center for eLearning and Training (C-eLT), Pune, partner with and offer these courses to Indian participants at special prices payable in INR.

For India Registration and pricing, please visit us at

Call: 020 6680 0300 / 322


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