Progress in Spatial Analysis: Introduction
With its roots in geography and regional science spatial analysis has experienced remarkable growth in recent years in terms of theory, methods, and applications. The series of books, that in the past decade have collected research in spatial analysis and econometrics, provide both documented evidence and a powerful platform to further this upwards trend. Among the collections that have done so stand those compiled by Anselin and Florax (New Directions in Spatial Econometrics, 1994), Fischer and Getis (Recent Developments in Spatial Analysis, 1997), and Anselin, Florax and Rey (Advances in Spatial Econometrics, 2004). In the spirit of this series of volumes, the present book aims at promoting the development and use of methods for the analysis of spatial data and processes. Traditionally, the core audience for the spatial analysis literature has been found in the Quantitative Geography and Regional Science communities, but also increasingly within the allied disciplines of Spatial and Regional Economics, Urban and Regional Planning and Development, Civil Engineering, Real Estate Studies, and Epidemiology, among others. Previous edited volumes, in particular the two spatial econometrics collections cited above, tended to emphasize, in addition to theoretical and methodological developments, economics and regional economics applications. In this book, we have made an attempt to capture a broader cross-section of themes, to include fields where spatial analysis has represented in recent years a boon for applications, which have in turn encouraged further technical developments. Besides the disciplines represented in previous collections of papers, up-and-coming areas that are seen to be making more extensive use of spatial analytical tools include transportation and land use analysis, political and economic geography, and the analysis of population and health issues. In order to provide a faithful picture of the current state of spatial analysis it is also our wish to present recent theoretical and methodological developments. Together, this collection of theoretical and methodological papers, and thematic applications, will project, we hope, the image of a thriving and dynamic field, with wide-ranging intellectually stimulating challenges, and rich opportunities for applied research that promises to promote and advance data analysis in a variety of fields.