Scale in Spatial Information and Analysis: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Scale in Spatial Information and Analysis

1st Edition

By Jingxiong Zhang, Peter Atkinson, Michael F. Goodchild

CRC Press

367 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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Now ubiquitous in modern life, spatial data present great opportunities to transform many of the processes on which we base our everyday lives. However, not only do these data depend on the scale of measurement, but also handling these data (e.g., to make suitable maps) requires that we account for the scale of measurement explicitly. Scale in Spatial Information and Analysis describes the scales of measurement and scales of spatial variation that exist in the measured data. It provides you with a series of tools for handling spatial data while accounting for scale.

The authors detail a systematic strategy for handling scale issues from geographic reality, through measurements, to resultant spatial data and their analyses. They also explore a process-pattern paradigm in approaching scale issues. This is well reflected, for example, in chapters dealing with terrain analysis, in which scale in terrain derivatives is described in relation to the processing involved in the derivation of specific terrain variables from elevation data, and area classes, which are viewed as driven by class-forming covariates. Lastly, this book provides coverage of some of the issues related to scale that are relatively under-represented in the literature, such as the effects of scale on information content in remotely sensed images, and the interaction between scale and uncertainty that is increasingly important for spatial information and analysis.

By taking a rigorous, scientific approach to scale and its various meanings in relation to the geographic world, the book alleviates some of the frustration caused by dealing with issues of scale. While past research has led to an increasing number of journal articles and a few books dedicated to scale modeling and change of scale, this book helps you to develop coherent strategies for scale modeling, highlighting applicability for a variety of fields, from geomatic engineering and geoinformatics to environmental modeling.


"… another excellent resource for researchers who are dealing with geospatial data, particularly

remote sensing data/images."

—Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, January 2016

"… an authoritative and thought-provoking account of scaling issues in spatial information and analysis. Written by leading authorities in the field, this book should be of considerable value to anyone working with spatial data by providing a contemporary account of scale, its characterisation and analysis."

—Giles Foody, University of Nottingham, UK

"… a timely addition to the growing literature on the topic of scale and change of support. … The authors have done a marvelous job of tackling this difficult topic with enough breadth and depth, producing what should become the reference in the field for years to come."

—Pierre Goovaerts, BioMedware, Inc

"… A truly informative collection … will certainly promote the importance of scale as the importance of geography has been increasingly recognized by people while stepping into the so-called "Digital Earth" big data age.

—Hui Lin, Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

"… a cutting edge analytical survey that presents scale in its myriad contexts, effectively linking it with cartography, spatial accuracy, spatial sampling, and spatial statistics. As such, it will set a new standard for the next round of state-of-the-art work concerning geographic scale."

—Daniel A. Griffith, University of Texas at Dallas

"… the book will serve as a long and lasting contribution to the scale aspects that are fundamental to the many spatial problems that are covered."

—Alfred Stein, University of Twente, Faculty of Geo-information and Earthobservation (ITC), Enschede, The Netherlands

Table of Contents


Issue of Scale

Models of Scale

Scaling Up and Down

Book Chapters

Geographic Representations




Hierarchical Data Structures


Geospatial Measurements

Framework for Spatial Sampling

Optical Remote Sensing and Resolution

Microwave Remote Sensing and Resolution


Geostatistical Models of Scale

Geostatistical Fundamentals and Variograms

Variogram Regularization and Deregularization

Statistics for Determining Measurement Scales


Lattice Data and Scale Models

Lattice Data

Spatial Autocorrelation and Its Measures

Local Models


Geostatistical Methods for Scaling


Indicator Approaches

Upscaling by Block Kriging

Downscaling by Area-to-Point Kriging

Geostatistical Inverse Modeling


Methods for Scaling Gridded Data




Multiscale Data Conflation

Multivariate Geostatistics

Image Fusion

Other Multiscale Methods


Scale in Terrain Analysis

Digital Elevation Data and Their Scales

Terrain Derivatives

Models of Scale in Topography

Methods for Scaling Terrain Variables


Scale in Area-Class Mapping

Area-Class Mapping

Spatial Scales and Patterns in Area Classes

Scaling Area-Class Information


Information Content

Information Theory

Information Content in Remotely Sensed Images

Image Resolution and Information Content

Information Content in Map Data


Uncertainty Characterization

Accuracy Metrics and Assessment

Geostatistical Approaches to Validation

Analytical Approaches to Error Propagation

Geostatistical Simulation





Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Probability & Statistics / General
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems