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AM-69 - Cellular Automata

Cellular automata (CA) are simple models that can simulate complex processes in both space and time. A CA consists of six defining components: a framework, cells, a neighborhood, rules, initial conditions, and an update sequence. CA models are simple, nominally deterministic yet capable of showing phase changes and emergence, map easily onto the data structures used in geographic information systems, and are easy to implement and understand. This has contributed to their popularity for applications such as measuring land use changes and monitoring disease spread, among many others.

AM-93 - Artificial Intelligence Approaches

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has received tremendous attention from academia, industry, and the general public in recent years. The integration of geography and AI, or GeoAI, provides novel approaches for addressing a variety of problems in the natural environment and our human society. This entry briefly reviews the recent development of AI with a focus on machine learning and deep learning approaches. We discuss the integration of AI with geography and particularly geographic information science, and present a number of GeoAI applications and possible future directions.

AM-107 - Spatial Data Uncertainty

Although spatial data users may not be aware of the inherent uncertainty in all the datasets they use, it is critical to evaluate data quality in order to understand the validity and limitations of any conclusions based on spatial data. Spatial data uncertainty is inevitable as all representations of the real world are imperfect. This topic presents the importance of understanding spatial data uncertainty and discusses major methods and models to communicate, represent, and quantify positional and attribute uncertainty in spatial data, including both analytical and simulation approaches. Geo-semantic uncertainty that involves vague geographic concepts and classes is also addressed from the perspectives of fuzzy-set approaches and cognitive experiments. Potential methods that can be implemented to assess the quality of large volumes of crowd-sourced geographic data are also discussed. Finally, this topic ends with future directions to further research on spatial data quality and uncertainty.

AM-97 - An Introduction to Spatial Data Mining

The goal of spatial data mining is to discover potentially useful, interesting, and non-trivial patterns from spatial data-sets (e.g., GPS trajectory of smartphones). Spatial data mining is societally important having applications in public health, public safety, climate science, etc. For example, in epidemiology, spatial data mining helps to nd areas with a high concentration of disease incidents to manage disease outbreaks. Computational methods are needed to discover spatial patterns since the volume and velocity of spatial data exceed the ability of human experts to analyze it. Spatial data has unique characteristics like spatial autocorrelation and spatial heterogeneity which violate the i.i.d (Independent and Identically Distributed) assumption of traditional statistic and data mining methods. Therefore, using traditional methods may miss patterns or may yield spurious patterns, which are costly in societal applications. Further, there are additional challenges such as MAUP (Modiable Areal Unit Problem) as illustrated by a recent court case debating gerrymandering in elections. In this article, we discuss tools and computational methods of spatial data mining, focusing on the primary spatial pattern families: hotspot detection, collocation detection, spatial prediction, and spatial outlier detection. Hotspot detection methods use domain information to accurately model more active and high-density areas. Collocation detection methods find objects whose instances are in proximity to each other in a location. Spatial prediction approaches explicitly model the neighborhood relationship of locations to predict target variables from input features. Finally, spatial outlier detection methods find data that differ from their neighbors. Lastly, we describe future research and trends in spatial data mining.

AM-79 - Agent-based Modeling

Agent-based models are dynamic simulation models that provide insight into complex geographic systems. Individuals are represented as agents that are encoded with goal-seeking objectives and decision-making behaviors to facilitate their movement through or changes to their surrounding environment. The collection of localized interactions amongst agents and their environment over time leads to emergent system-level spatial patterns. In this sense, agent-based models belong to a class of bottom-up simulation models that focus on how processes unfold over time in ways that produce interesting, and at times surprising, patterns that we observe in the real world.

AM-22 - Global Measures of Spatial Association

Spatial association broadly describes how the locations and values of samples or observations vary across space. Similarity in both the attribute values and locations of observations can be assessed using measures of spatial association based upon the first law of geography. In this entry, we focus on the measures of spatial autocorrelation that assess the degree of similarity between attribute values of nearby observations across the entire study region. These global measures assess spatial relationships with the combination of spatial proximity as captured in the spatial weights matrix and the attribute similarity as captured by variable covariance (i.e. Moran’s I) or squared difference (i.e. Geary’s C). For categorical data, the join count statistic provides a global measure of spatial association. Two visualization approaches for spatial autocorrelation measures include Moran scatterplots and variograms (also known as semi-variograms).

AM-90 - Computational Movement Analysis

Figure 1. Group movement patterns as illustrated in this coordinated escape behavior of a group of mountain goat (Rubicapra rubicapra) evading approaching hikers on the Fuorcla Trupchun near the Italian/Swiss border are at the core of computational movement analysis. Once the trajectories of moving objects are collected and made accessible for computational processing, CMA aims at a better understanding of the characteristics of movement processes of animals, people or things in geographic space.


Computational Movement Analysis (CMA) develops and applies analytical computational tools aiming at a better understanding of movement data. CMA copes with the rapidly growing data streams capturing the mobility of people, animals, and things roaming geographic spaces. CMA studies how movement can be represented, modeled, and analyzed in GIS&T. The CMA toolbox includes a wide variety of approaches, ranging from database research, over computational geometry to data mining and visual analytics.

AM-34 - The Geographically Weighted Regression Framework

Local multivariate statistical models are increasingly encountered in geographical research to estimate spatially varying relationships between a response variable and its associated predictor variables. In geography and many other disciplines, such models have been largely embedded within the framework of regression and can reveal significantly more information about the determinants of observed spatial distribution of the dependent variable than their global regression model counterparts. This section introduces one type of local statistical modeling framework: Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR). Models within this framework estimate location-specific parameter estimates for each covariate, local diagnostic statistics, and bandwidth parameters as indicators of the spatial scales at which the modeled processes operate. These models provide an effective means to estimate how the same factors may evoke different responses across locations and by so doing, bring to the fore the role of geographical context on human preferences and behavior.

AM-29 - Kriging Interpolation

Kriging is an interpolation method that makes predictions at unsampled locations using a linear combination of observations at nearby sampled locations. The influence of each observation on the kriging prediction is based on several factors: 1) its geographical proximity to the unsampled location, 2) the spatial arrangement of all observations (i.e., data configuration, such as clustering of observations in oversampled areas), and 3) the pattern of spatial correlation of the data. The development of kriging models is meaningful only when data are spatially correlated.. Kriging has several advantages over traditional interpolation techniques, such as inverse distance weighting or nearest neighbor: 1) it provides a measure of uncertainty attached to the results (i.e., kriging variance); 2) it accounts for direction-dependent relationships (i.e., spatial anisotropy); 3) weights are assigned to observations based on the spatial correlation of data instead of assumptions made by the analyst for IDW; 4) kriging predictions are not constrained to the range of observations used for interpolation, and 5) data measured over different spatial supports can be combined and change of support, such as downscaling or upscaling, can be conducted.

AM-20 - Geospatial Analysis and Model Building

Spatial modeling is an important instrument to conduct geospatial analysis to understand the world and guide decision-making. In GIS, spatial models are formal languages to express mechanisms of geographic processes and design analytical workflows to understand these processes. With the development of GIS and computer science, various types of spatial models and modeling techniques have become available, which endows the term of “spatial model” with different meanings. This entry provides an overview of common types of spatial models, modeling techniques, and related applications.