Summer School in Survey Methodology

7-11 July 2014


Spatial data analysis


 Albert Esteve is a senior research fellow and deputy director of the Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics. He holds a B.A. in Geography and Ph.D. in Demography by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a Master's degree in Geographic Information Systems by the University of Girona. His research focuses on family and regional demography, data quality and harmonization. Among others, he is principal investigator of the WorldFam project (funded by the European Research Council) and of the Integrated European Census Microdata project (FP7). He teaches graduate courses on demographic and spatial analysis methods. 

Antonio López-Gay received his PhD in Demography through the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona. He is currently a researcher at the Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics and an active member of the WORLDFAM project which aims at analyzing union formation patterns from a worldwide perspective. The spatial approach has been an integral part of his contributions to the team. His research agenda includes the analysis of  socio-demographic forces behind the urban processes in the largest cities in Spain and the integration and dissemination of the European Census Data through the IECM Project and IPUMS-International.  July 7-8 from 11h15-13h15 and 16h30-18h30; July 9 from 11:15-13:15
Location: Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Campus de la Ciutadella. Barcelona, Spain.

Short description:

This course provides an introduction to spatial data analysis for social scientists. The increasing availability of spatial data (both at the aggregated and at the individual level) has expanded the range of methodological tools to explore the spatial dimension of social phenomena and explain variation among areas. In this course, the student will learn how to manipulate and analyze spatial data. We will present basic techniques of Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), the concepts of local and global Spatial Autocorrelation, and introduce spatial (Lag and Error) regression models. Theoretical explanations will be accompanied by three lab exercises using GEODA (freeware). GEODA is a user-friendly software developed by Luc Anselin, the leading scholar in spatial econometrics, which enables beginners to quickly immerse in the world of spatial analysis.

Course outline:

Day 1 - Morning

1. Introduction

1.a. Why space matters?
1.b.The contiguity (neighborhood) matrix: concept and specifications
1.c. Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA)

Day 1 - Afternoon

LAB exercises: Mapping and ESDA with GeoDa

Day 2 - Morning

2. Spatial Autocorrelation

2.a. Global Measures of Spatial Autocorrelation: Global Moran
2.b. Local Measures of Spatial Autocorrelation: LISAs and G* statistic

3. Spatial Regression

3.a. Spatial Heterogeneity and Spatial Dependence
3.b. Spatial Regression Models: Spatial Lag Model / Spatial Error Model

Day 2 - Afternoon

LAB exercises: Spatial autocorrelation with GeoDa

Day 3 - Morning

LAB exercises: Spatial regression with GeoDa


The course is designed for researchers and students involved in and/or interested in spatial data analysis in the social sciences. Students are required to have basic knowledge of statistics and Excel. All exercises will be performed in GEODA, which requires no programming experience.


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