Landscape Ecology

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 469–476 | Cite as

A Generalized Distance Measure for Integrating Multiple Environmental Assessment Indicators

  • Liem T. Tran
  • Robert V. O’Neill
  • Elizabeth R. Smith


The paper presents a new distance measure useful for integrated environmental assessments. It is a generalized weighted Euclidean distance whose weights are calculated based on the coefficients of determination among environmental quality indicators in the data set. The proposed distance allows all environmental quality indicators to be used directly without any reduction in dimension (e.g., as in principal component analysis). Hypothetical and case-study examples are given to illustrate the distance measure. Examples demonstrate that the proposed distance is suitable and valuable for integrating multiple indicators into a single index, a common task in integrated environmental assessment.


Environmental quality indicators Euclidean distance Multivariate analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liem T. Tran
    • 1
  • Robert V. O’Neill
    • 2
  • Elizabeth R. Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA
  2. 2.T N & AssociatesOak Ridge, TennesseeUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and DevelopmentNational Exposure Research LaboratoryNorth CarolinaUSA

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