Spatial Analysis

The spatial analysis category looks at data manipulation techniques in GIS.


Estimates of per capita consumption in four African countries. Stanford researchers used machine learning to extract information from high-resolution satellite imagery to identify impoverished regions in Africa. (Image credit: Neal Jean et al.)Estimates of per capita consumption in four African countries. Stanford researchers used machine learning to extract information from high-resolution satellite imagery to identify impoverished regions in Africa. (Image credit: Neal Jean et al.)

Using Machine Learning to Map Poverty from Satellite Imagery

Satellite images are now being used to map poverty levels around the world using machine learning used to analyze specific poverty data using a convolutional neural network.

From Davies et al., 2016: "the results show good qualitative agreement, with 26 of the 33 boroughs showing rioter percentages in the same or adjacent bands as the data. The remaining discrepancy may be accounted for by factors specific to the London disorder, such as communication between groups, other activity patterns occurring at the time, or social factors beyond the scope of this work. "From Davies et al., 2016: "the results show good qualitative agreement, with 26 of the 33 boroughs showing rioter percentages in the same or adjacent bands as the data. The remaining discrepancy may be accounted for by factors specific to the London disorder, such as communication between groups, other activity patterns occurring at the time, or social factors beyond the scope of this work. "

GIS and Anti-Crime Measures

This article takes a look at methods which demonstrate the wide and growing field of crime prevention utilizing spatial and GIS approaches.

Local spatial autocorrelation for percent Republican, presidential election 1976. Map of the Cincinnati metropolitan area from Kinsella et al., 2015.Local spatial autocorrelation for percent Republican, presidential election 1976. Map of the Cincinnati metropolitan area from Kinsella et al., 2015.

GIS, Elections, and Politics

Political geography focuses on past election cycles in order to look at how voting patterns develop and why. Mark Altaweel discusses how GIS can be used to study those patterns.

Sudden Landslide Identification Product (SLIP) developed by NASA detects landslide potential by analyzing satellite imagery for changes in soil moisture, muddiness, and other surface features. The Landsat 8 satellite capture the left and middle images on September 15, 2013, and September 18, 2014—before and after the Jure landslide in Nepal on August 2, 2014. The processed image on the right shows areas in red indicating a probable landslide and areas in yellow showing a possible landslide. Source: NASA.Sudden Landslide Identification Product (SLIP) developed by NASA detects landslide potential by analyzing satellite imagery for changes in soil moisture, muddiness, and other surface features. The Landsat 8 satellite capture the left and middle images on September 15, 2013, and September 18, 2014—before and after the Jure landslide in Nepal on August 2, 2014. The processed image on the right shows areas in red indicating a probable landslide and areas in yellow showing a possible landslide. Source: NASA.

Using Remote Sensing to Automate the Detection of Landslides

The Sudden Landslide Identification Product (SLIP) developed by NASA detects landslide potential by analyzing satellite imagery for changes in soil moisture, muddiness, and other surface features.

ArcGIS Spatial Analyst was used to generate a density surface from point data created by a single dancer's movements. Source: GIS to Understand Dance, and Vice Versa, 2009.ArcGIS Spatial Analyst was used to generate a density surface from point data created by a single dancer's movements. Source: GIS to Understand Dance, and Vice Versa, 2009.

Using GIS to Choreograph Dance

Researchers at Ohio State University developed GIS software to help track the movement of dancers over time to see their patterns, which was also then used to choreograph new classical routines