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QuantitativeMethodsinHumanGeographyGeographyOxfordBibliographies

QuantitativeMethodsinHumanGeography
SuzanneDaviesWithers
LASTREVIEWED:06MAY2015
LASTMODIFIED:26FEBRUARY2013
DOI:10.1093/OBO/97801998740020053

Introduction
Thetermquantitativeresearchreferstothesystematicscientificinvestigationofquantitativepropertiesandphenomena
andtheirrelationships,byusingstatisticalmethods.Itincludestheanalysisofnumericalspatialdata,thedevelopmentof
spatialtheory,andtheconstructingandtestingofmathematicalmodelsofspatialprocesses.Asgeographersknow,spatial
analysisisveryimportant.Theaimofspatialanalysisistounderstanddifferencesacrossspaceratherthanregularities.
Quantitativemethodshavebeenanintegralpartofhumangeographysincethequantitativerevolutionofthe1950s.
Quantitativemethodsintheearly21stcenturyarevastlymoresophisticatedthantheirearliercounterparts.Sincetheearly
1990s,inparticular,theinterestingeoreferenceddataandtheneedtounderstandithaveledtoanenormousfieldofspatial
analysis.Bythelate1990s,thefieldofspatialanalysishadmaturedtothepointwherethemethodsofspatialanalysis
servedasfundamentalresearchtechniquesinavarietyofdisciplines,includinggeography,ecology,environmentalstudies,
epidemiology,regionalscience,sociology,andurbanplanning.Thequantitativemethodsofyesteryearhavegivenwaytoa
complexfieldofspatialanalysisthatservesasaunifyingmethodologyforsocialscienceingeneral.

GeneralOverviews
Thebreadthofquantitativemethodsandspatialanalysisisvast.Consequently,veryfewarticlesareavailablethatprovide
anoverviewofthefieldingeneral.Murray2010providesatraditionalaccountofquantitativemethodsingeography,ina
paperpreparedforthe50thanniversaryoftheJournalofRegionalScience.Kwan2010presentsanoverviewofmethods
paperspublishedinthelastonehundredyearsintheAnnalsoftheAssociationofAmericanGeographers,butquantitative
methodsisasubfieldofthelargerhistorythatKwandescribes.Goodchild,etal.2000makesastrongcaseforspatial
analysisintegratingthesocialsciences.ThisarticleisbasedonaNationalScienceFoundation(NSF)infrastructuregrant
proposal.ThefundingofthisgrantledtotheCenterforSpatiallyIntegratedSocialSciences(CSISS),thecollaborationof
manyspatialscholars,andthedisseminationofspatialstatisticalmethodsandmaterials.Goodchild,etal.2000providesa
senseoftheprogressmadeinthefieldofspatialanalysis.GoodchildandJanelle2004providesveryinformativechapters
onarangeofsubstantivefieldsinthesocialsciencesforwhichspatialsciencehasbecomeintegral.Thevolumeconveys
thebreadthofspatialanalysisthroughoutthesocialsciences.Anumberofhandbooksprovideanexceptionaloverviewof
thebreadthofthefield,eachchapteraddressinganimportantavenueofresearch.Fortheintermediatetoadvancedlevel,
FischerandGetis2010offersabroadcollectionofpapersonspatialanalysisbyleadingscholarsinthefield.Atamore
accessiblelevel,FotheringhamandRogerson2009isasuperbcollectioninthiswonderfullysystematicvolumethat
includeschaptersonspatialdata,thegeographicinformationsystem(GIS),geovisualization,spatialdatamining,spatial
autocorrelation,themodifiablearealunitproblem(MAUP),spatialweights,spatialinterpolation,spatialsampling,statistical
inference,fuzzysets,geographicallyweightedregression,spatialregression,spatialmicrosimulation,spatialpattern
dynamics,geocomputation,spatialinteractiontools,challenges,andthefuturestatusofspatialanalysis.

Fischer,ManfredM.,andArthurGetis,eds.HandbookofAppliedSpatialAnalysis:SoftwareTools,Methods,and
http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo9780199874002/obo97801998740020053.xml?print

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QuantitativeMethodsinHumanGeographyGeographyOxfordBibliographies

Applications.Berlin:Springer,2010.
Wonderfulcollectionofaccomplishedcontributingauthors.Readslikeawhoswhoofspatialanalysis.Handbookincludes
tenchaptersonspatialanalysissoftware,sixonspatialstatisticalmethods,sevenonspatialeconometrics,threeonanalysis
ofremotelysenseddata,andnineonapplicationsinnumerousfields.Providesanexcellentbreadthofthefieldofspatial
analysisforintermediatetoadvancedlevels.

Fotheringham,A.Stewart,andPeterA.Rogerson,eds.TheSAGEHandbookofSpatialAnalysis.London:SAGE,2009.
Thissuperior,comprehensivehandbookprovidesaretrospectiveandprospectiveaccountofspatialanalysis.Ifonlyone
referencesourceisused,thisistheonetochoose.Superb,extensivebibliographiesaccompanychaptersbyleading
scholarsinthefield.Providesimportantbreadthanddepthofspatialanalysisingeographicresearchandmore.

Goodchild,MichaelF.,LucAnselin,RichardP.Appelbaum,andBarbaraH.Harthorn.TowardSpatiallyIntegrated
SocialScience.InternationalRegionalScienceReview23.2(2000):139159.
Spatiallyintegratedsocialsciencecouldbecalledtheperspectivethatlaunchedathousandships.Thisarticledetailsthe
significanceofspaceandplaceinthesocialsciences,includingbusinessandnetworks,communitystudies,criminaljustice,
environmentalchange,healthanddisease,socialandeconomicinequality,andurbanstudies.Acalltointegrateand
disseminatespatialknowledge.Availableonlineforpurchaseorbysubscription.

Goodchild,MichaelF.,andDonaldG.Janelle,eds.SpatiallyIntegratedSocialScience.NewYork:OxfordUniversity
Press,2004.
Twentyonechaptersrepresentingapplicationsofspatialanalysisatfourscales:individualandhouseholdlevels,
neighborhoodlevelanalysis,regionallevelanalysis,andmultiscalespatialperspectives.Materialisalittledated,but
chaptersprovideexcellentoverviewsofthepotentialofspatialmethodologiesinspecifictopicareas,rangingfrom
residentialmobilitytocrime,business,andeconomicpolicy.

Kwan,MeiPo.ACenturyofMethodOrientedScholarshipintheAnnals.AnnalsoftheAssociationofAmerican
Geographers100.5(2010):10601075.
Alightread.Commissionedforthe100thanniversaryoftheAnnals,thisarticleprovidesathoroughhistoricalaccountofthe
contributionandvariationinquantitativemethodsovertime.Importantdevelopmentalperspectiveforquantitativemethods
andspatialanalysiswithinthediscipline.Ofnote,tables2and3listmostfrequentlycitedmethodspapers.Availableonline
forpurchaseorbysubscription.

Murray,AlanT.QuantitativeGeography.JournalofRegionalScience50.1(2010):143163.
Verytraditionalconceptionofquantitativemethods.Reviewsdescriptivestatisticalmeasures(mean,variance,higher
orderedmoments,andcorrelation),classicstatisticalmodels(regression,analysisofvariance,principalcomponents,factor
analysis,andmultidimensionalscaling),nonparametricapproaches,andspatialstatisticalsubareas:pointpatternanalysis,
spatialautocorrelation,spatialstatisticalmodels,andexploratoryspatialdataanalysistechniquesuniqueinquantitative
geography.Availableonlineforpurchaseorbysubscription.

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