Journal of Geographical Systems

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 109–118

Categorical maps, comparisons, and confidence

Original article

DOI: 10.1007/s10109-006-0018-9

Cite this article as:
Boots, B. & Csillag, F. J Geograph Syst (2006) 8: 109. doi:10.1007/s10109-006-0018-9


The comparison of categorical maps is a common problem in several different contexts. Differences between categorical maps can be characterized and measured in a variety of ways. In 2004 we invited individuals from remote sensing, geographical information analysis, spatial modelling, and landscape ecology to participate in a virtual workshop in order to compare strategies for comparison. This revealed that the key dimensions of comparison relate to (1) the map characteristics considered, (2) the nature of the comparison, (3) the handling of geographical space, (4) the units of computed measures, and (5) the tests of significance.


Categorical mapsMap comparisonAccuracy assessmentChange detectionStochastic processesSpatial patternInference

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental StudiesWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of TorontoMississaugaCanada