PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2009, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (1): 1-8.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2009.01.001

• Original Articles •     Next Articles

Global Statistics of Spatial Distribution: A Literature Review

ZHAO Zuoquan   

  1. Institute of Policy and Management, CAS, Beijing 100080, China
  • Received:2008-08-01 Revised:2008-10-01 Online:2009-01-24 Published:2009-01-24


The past five decades have witnessed increasing interest in the statistical analysis of spatial distribution, whose local and global characteristics are major concerns among geographers, statisticians, and spatial analysts. The purpose of this paper is to present a review of the global statistics of spatial distribution, the methods that describe, estimate, and predict the overall characteristics of spatial distribution as an independent field of research. The global characteristics of a spatial distribution include its center (or centroid), range, intensity, orientation, and shape in 2- D space. About 20 spatial statistical indices are proposed and employed to identify those global characteristics and their changes (or spatiotemporal processes) for a variety of spatial distributions, socioeconomic or natural, and to examine the relationships between different spatial distributions. The fundamental issues of this field that are discussed include spatial independence assumption, spatial random sampling,spatiotemporal process, spatiotemporal stationary stochastic process, spatial descriptive statistics and spatial probabilistic functions.

Key words: geographical range, spatial analysis, spatial intensity, spatial statistics, statistics of spatial distribution