GIS and the Social Sciences: Theory and Applications, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

GIS and the Social Sciences

Theory and Applications, 1st Edition

By Dimitris Ballas, Graham Clarke, Rachel S. Franklin, Andy Newing


280 pages | 191 Color Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138785120
pub: 2017-10-12
Hardback: 9781138785137
pub: 2017-09-20
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315759326
pub: 2017-09-18
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GIS and the Social Sciences offers a uniquely social science approach on the theory and application of GIS with a range of modern examples. It explores how human geography can engage with a variety of important policy issues through linking together GIS and spatial analysis, and demonstrates the importance of applied GIS and spatial analysis for solving real-world problems in both the public and private sector.

The book introduces basic theoretical material from a social science perspective and discusses how data are handled in GIS, what the standard commands within GIS packages are, and what they can offer in terms of spatial analysis. It covers the range of applications for which GIS has been primarily used in the social sciences, offering a global perspective of examples at a range of spatial scales. The book explores the use of GIS in crime, health, education, retail location, urban planning, transport, geodemographics, emergency planning and poverty/income inequalities. It is supplemented with practical activities and datasets that are linked to the content of each chapter and provided on an eResource page. The examples are written using ArcMap to show how the user can access data and put the theory in the textbook to applied use using proprietary GIS software.

This book serves as a useful guide to a social science approach to GIS techniques and applications. It provides a range of modern applications of GIS with associated practicals to work through, and demonstrates how researcher and policy makers alike can use GIS to plan services more effectively. It will prove to be of great interest to geographers, as well as the broader social sciences, such as sociology, crime science, health, business and marketing.


'Interested in Geographic Information Systems and how they can be used in Human Geography and the Social Sciences? This is the best book to buy.'Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, St Peter’s College, University of Oxford, UK

'Geographic Information Systems are revolutionizing the social sciences by enriching models and techniques that were previously devoid of spatial context. GIS and the Social Sciences is an essential primer for this revolution, covering a wide range of social research domains and applications. Both students and practitioners will find it to be a key guide to this emerging field.' - Harvey J. Miller, Bob and Mary Reusche Chair in Geographic Information Science and Professor of Geography, The Ohio State University, USA

Table of Contents

Part A: Theoretical Considerations 1. What is GIS? Introduction to Concepts and Terminology 2. Spatial Data Structures: Projections, Coordinate Systems and Georeferencing 3. Spatial Analysis in GIS: Buffer, Overlay, Spatial Queries 4. Thematic Mapping; Mapping Density and Proportion; Visualisation and Geographical Scale, Flow GIS 5. GIS for Network Analysis 6. GIS and Spatial Decision Support Systems in Planning Part B: Applications of GIS in Human Geography 7. GIS, Geodemographics and Indexes of Deprivation 8. GIS for Estimating Income, Well-being and Happiness 9. GIS and Crime Analysis 10. GIS for Retail Site Location Analysis and Planning 11. GIS for Public Sector Retail Planning 12. GIS and Health Care Analysis 13. GIS for Emergency Planning 14. GIS and Education Planning 15. GIS and Transport Planning 16. GIS for Environmental Justice, Law and Policy Appraisal 17. Conclusions

About the Authors

Dimitris Ballas is Professor of Economic Geography at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has published widely in the fields of Social and Economic Geography, Regional Science and Geoinformatics in the Social Sciences. His recent books include The Human Atlas of Europe: A Continent United in Diversity (co-authored with Danny Dorling and Benjamin Hennig).

Graham Clarke is Professor of Business Geography at the University of Leeds, UK. He specialises in the application of GIS for service analysis and planning, particularly within the context of health and retailing.

Rachel S. Franklin is Associate Director of the Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4) initiative and Associate Professor (Research) of Population Studies at Brown University, USA.

Andy Newing is a Lecturer in Retail Geography at the School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK. Andy contributes extensively to undergraduate and master’s level GIS teaching and student supervision within the social sciences.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography