Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis

S. Dall'erba

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

17 Scopus citations


Exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) is an extension of exploratory data analysis as it explicitly focuses on the particular characteristics of geographical data. It is an increasingly popular geographic information science (GIS)-based technique that allows users to describe and visualize spatial distributions, identify atypical locations or spatial outliers, discover patterns of spatial association, clusters or hot spots, and suggest spatial regimes or other forms of spatial heterogeneity. The strength of ESDA relies on its 'data mining' capacity which is particularly useful when no prior theoretical framework exists, as is often the case in multidisciplinary fields of social sciences. It proposes a wide range of largely graphical methods that explore the properties of datasets without the need for formal model building, which is not necessarily of interest to many GIS users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780080449104
ISBN (Print)9780080449111
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Choropleth map
  • GIS
  • Geary's c
  • LISA
  • Moran scatterplot
  • Moran's I
  • Spatial autocorrelation
  • Spatial heterogeneity
  • Spatial statistics
  • Spatial weight matrix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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