Scale and Spatial Analytics Workshop

ASU's Spatial Analysis Research Center (SPARC) hosted its second annual workshop, focused on the subject of Scale and Spatial Analytics, at Arizona State University on February 10 and 11, 2020. Please see below for workshop information, including video presentations from the workshop and position papers from participants.

About the workshop:

Spatial Scale is one of a small number of quintessential geographic topics that defines geography as a discipline.  We talk about the scale of a map with expressions such as a ‘small scale’ or ‘large scale’ study. We refer to the scale of a study area, implying its spatial extent. We talk about some descriptors being scale-invariant (fractal dimension) while others are seriously affected by the extent to which data are spatially aggregated (modifiable areal unit problem). When focusing on the processes underlying spatial patterns, we frequently describe some processes as operating on a local, regional or global scale. Although we frequently refer to scale, what exactly do we mean by this term and how can we measure the spatial scale at which different processes operate? We have long recognized that the phenomena we observe are often the product of multiple processes operating at multiple scales, which raises a number of additional questions:

  • What methodological developments are needed to accurately translate information across scales?
  • How do decisions surrounding the scale of data and analyses (and the uncertainties that accompany those scales) impact our inferences about the world?
  • In terms of processes, what exactly do we mean by scale and how do we measure it?
  • Why is it useful to know the spatial scale at which different processes operate?

Although scale and geography have been virtually synonymous for centuries, it is timely to hold a brain-storming workshop on Scale and Spatial Analytics for several reasons:

  • Spatial data are increasingly available at a very fine spatial (and temporal) scale
  • Multi-scale analysis is now possible under various learning frameworks opening up the possibility of directly measuring the spatial scale at which different processes operate
  • The three-dimensionality of the world we live on and in is increasingly recognized so that scale on the globe is of growing importance

This small and focused workshop focused on addressing these issues through a set of plenary presentations, lightning talks, and focused discussions with the intention of raising the profile of this important topic through the development of a research agenda and a set of follow-up activities.

Read the full summary

Participant presentations

Sean Ahearn, Hunter College, and Somayeh Dodge, UC Santa Barbara

Michael Batty, University College London

Kevin Butler and Charlie Frye, Esri

Mary Donovan, Arizona State University

David Folch, Northern Arizona University

Stewart Fotheringham, Arizona State University

Amy Frazier, Arizona State University

Elizabeth Groff, Temple University

Jill Kelly, Harvard University

Phaedon Kyriakidis, Cyprus University of Technology

Nina Lam, Louisiana State University

David Manley, University of Bristol

Taylor Oshan, University of Maryland, and Levi Wolf, University of Bristol

Yi Qiang, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Ethan Shavers, US Geological Survey

Patricia Solis, Arizona State University

Seth Spielman, University of Colorado

Jianguo Wu, Arizona State University

Xiang Ye, SUNY Buffalo

Enki Yoo, SUNY Buffalo

May Yuan, University of Texas at Dallas

Position papers

Sean Ahearn, Hunter College, and Somayeh Dodge, UC Santa Barbara
"Multi-scale Modeling of Movement"

Kevin Butler and Charlie Frye, Esri
"Challenges and Opportunities in Addressing Issues of Scale in Spatial Analytics"

Elizabeth Groff, Temple University
"Importance of Scale in Improving Understanding of Crime Patterns"

David Manley, University of Bristol
"Scale and Spatial Analytics"

Taylor Oshan, University of Maryland, and Levi Wolf, University of Bristol
"Process Indicator-of-Scale Metrics"

Yi Qiang, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
"Scales as Additional Dimensions in Space and Time"

Ethan Shavers, US Geological Survey
"Preserving Meander Bend Geometry Through Scale"

Patricia Solis, Arizona State University
"Defining the Decision-Making/Accountability Spatial Incongruence Problem"

Seth Spielman, University of Colorado
"Scale and the Decomposability Problem"

Xiang Ye, SUNY Buffalo
"Is multiscalar analysis a panacea?"

Enki Yoo, SUNY Buffalo
"The Effect of Spatial and Temporal Scale on the Inferences about Human Exposure to Air Pollution"

May Yuan, University of Texas at Dallas
"Scale as an Agent of Transformation in Geographic Knowledge Discovery and Production"

Participants

Sean Ahearn, Hunter College

Sarah Bardin, Arizona State University

Michael Batty, University College London

Michael Branion-Calles, Arizona State University

Kevin Butler, Esri

Dylan Connor, Arizona State University

Somayeh Dodge, UC Santa Barbara

Mary Donovan, Arizona State University

David Folch, Northern Arizona University

Stewart Fotheringham, Arizona State University

Amy Frazier, Arizona State University

Charlie Frye, Esri

Michael Goodchild, Arizona State University

Elizabeth Groff, Temple University

Peter Kedron, Arizona State University

Jill Kelly, Harvard University

Phaedon Kyriakidis, Cyprus University of Technology

Nina Lam, Louisiana State University

Wenwen Li, Arizona State University

David Manley, University of Bristol

Aryn Musgrave, Arizona State University

Soe Myint, Arizona State University

Trisalyn Nelson, Arizona State University

Taylor Oshan, University of Maryland

Yi Qiang, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Matthew Quick, Arizona State University

Mehak Sachdeva, Arizona State University

Ethan Shavers, US Geological Survey

Patricia Solis, Arizona State University

Seth Spielman, University of Colorado

Daoqin Tong, Arizona State University

Matthew Toro, Arizona State University

Libby Wentz, Arizona State University

Levi Wolf, University of Bristol

Jianguo Wu, Arizona State University

Xiang Ye, SUNY Buffalo

Enki Yoo, SUNY Buffalo

Hanchen Yu, Arizona State University

May Yuan, University of Texas at Dallas

Organizing committee

The Scale Workshop is possible thanks to the hard work of the organizing committee, including: Michael Goodchild, UC Santa Barbara and Arizona State University; Stewart Fotheringham, Arizona State University; Wenwen Li, Arizona State University; Peter Kedron, Arizona State University; and Amy Frazier, Arizona State University.