GIS and Spatial Analysis for the Social Sciences

Coding, Mapping, and Modeling

By Robert Nash Parker, Emily K. Asencio

© 2009 – Routledge

254 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415989626
pub: 2008-07-10
US Dollars$85.95
Hardback: 9780415989619
pub: 2008-07-25
US Dollars$170.00

Comp Exam Copy Companion Website

About the Book

This is the first book to provide sociologists, criminologists, political scientists, and other social scientists with the methodological logic and techniques for doing spatial analysis in their chosen fields of inquiry.

The book contains a wealth of examples as to why these techniques are worth doing, over and above conventional statistical techniques using SPSS or other statistical packages.

GIS is a methodological and conceptual approach that allows for the linking together of spatial data, or data that is based on a physical space, with non-spatial data, which can be thought of as any data that contains no direct reference to physical locations.


"This is a first-rate book on GIS and spatial analysis. The authors adopt a "learn-by-doing" approach and make it work by combining lucid explanations of concepts and procedures with rich examples. The book will be a valuable resource to students, teachers, and researchers interested in understanding the spatial dimension of social life." –Steven F. Messner, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Sociology, University at Albany, SUNY

"This book is an excellent introduction to the latest tools and techniques for using spatial analyses to study behavior. It is written in a clear and step-by-step fashion with ample illustrations and enables the reader to quickly engage the complex tools of GIS including details concerning appropriate statistical analyses which go well beyond plotting data on maps." –Harold D. Holder, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Prevention Research

Table of Contents

Title Page

Table of Contents



Section I Introduction to Geocoding and Mapping

How to Make a Pin Map

Why Geocode?

The Basics of Geocoding

Ex: The Process of Geocoding

Ex: The Science and Art of

Interactive Geocoding

Ex: Exporting a Geocoded Map

Thematic Maps

Ex: Creating a Thematic Map from Sample Data

Ex: Racial Profiling Thematic Map

Ex: Juvenile Crime Thematic Map

Summary of Section I

Section II Mapping for Analysis, Policy, and Decision Making

Basic Multivariate Displays

Mapping Rates

Ex: Classification or World Armed Rivalries

Ex: Subsets of Youth Violence

Ex: Maps for School Planning

Ex: Tessellations and Youth Violence

Ex: Rates of Poverty Over Time in New Orleans

Ex: Patterns of Residency by Ethnicity

Ex: Diffusion of Innovation in the United States

(3D map)

Ex: Socioeconomic Conditions in 3D

Ex: Homicide Patterns

Ex: Alcohol Availability and Youth Violence

Ex: Hurricane Katrina’s Impact on Children and Schools

Ex: HIV and Armed National Rivalries

Ex: Immigration and Unemployment in the U.S.

Ex: California Education System

Summary of Section II

Section III Geospatial Modeling and G.I.S.

Why spatial modeling in this book?

Why spatial modeling at all?

The Meaning of Space in Causal Modeling

Measuring the Impact of Space and

Spatial Relationships

Statistical Issues in Spatial Modeling

The Impact of Spatial Autocorrelations and

Error Structures in Spatial Modeling

Statistical Modeling of Spatial Data

Types of Data Used in Spatial Models

Choosing Software to Estimate Spatial Models

Ex: A Cross Sectional Spatial Model: Gang Crime

And Alcohol Availability

Ex: Multi-Site Studies in Spatial Modeling

Ex: Pooled Cross Sectional and Time Series

Spatial Models

Ex: Spatial Models: Limitations, Issues,

And Emerging Developments



Appendix 1: GIS Data Sources

About the Authors

Robert Nash Parker (Ph.D., Duke University) is Co-Director of the Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies at University of California, Riverside. He has long been interested in the useful application of methods originally pioneered outside of the social sciences (i.e. Structural Equation Modeling (psychology), HLM (education), logistic regression (Economics), ridge regression (chemistry) to the social sciences.

Emily Asencio (Ph.D., University of California, Riverside) is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Academic Center for Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention at the University of California, Riverside.

About the Series

Contemporary Sociological Perspectives

This innovative series is for all readers interested in books that provide frameworks for making sense of the complexities of contemporary social life. Each of the books in this series uses a sociological lens to provide current critical and analytical perspectives on significant social issues, patterns and trends. The series consists of books that integrate the best ideas in sociological thought with an aim toward public education and engagement. These books are designed for use in the classroom as well as for scholars and socially curious general readers.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Methodology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General