SPARC Workshops

Call for submissions: Scale and Spatial Analytics Workshop

Dates: Feb 10 - Feb 11, 2020
Location: AC Hotel, Arizona State University (ASU) Tempe, AZ
Host: ASU Spatial Analysis Research Center (SPARC), School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning (SGSUP)

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 would seem 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 will address these issues through a set of plenary presentations (30 minutes each), lightning talks (10 minutes each), 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.

We invite researchers to submit (1) a brief CV of not more than two pages, plus a (2) two-page position paper that addresses the author’s views on any SSA issue. Submissions should be made to Mike Goodchild ( by Friday, October 25th, 2019. A limited amount of travel support is available. Participants wishing to request travel support are encouraged to detail their needs and include their short justification with their submission of materials. All requests for travel support must be made before October 25th.

Organizing Committee:
Michael F. Goodchild (chair), UC Santa Barbara and Arizona State University,
Stewart Fotheringham, Arizona State University,
Wenwen Li, Arizona State University,
Peter Kedron, Arizona State University,
Amy Frazier, Arizona State University,