A Practical Primer

Companion Website

© 2015 | 392 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Geocomputation is the use of software and computing power to solve complex spatial problems. It is gaining increasing importance in the era of the ‘big data’ revolution, of ‘smart cities’, of crowdsourced data, and of associated applications for viewing and managing data geographically - like Google Maps. This student focused book:

  • Provides a selection of practical examples of geocomputational techniques and ‘hot topics’ written by world leading practitioners.
  • Integrates supporting materials in each chapter, such as code and data, enabling readers to work through the examples themselves.

Chapters provide highly applied and practical discussions of:

  • Visualisation and exploratory spatial data analysis
  • Space time modelling
  • Spatial algorithms
  • Spatial regression and statistics
  • Enabling interactions through the use of neogeography

All chapters are uniform in design and each includes an introduction, case studies, conclusions - drawing together the generalities of the introduction and specific findings from the case study application – and guidance for further reading.

This accessible text has been specifically designed for those readers who are new to Geocomputation as an area of research, showing how complex real-world problems can be solved through the integration of technology, data, and geocomputational methods. This is the applied primer for Geocomputation in the social sciences.

Describing how the world looks
James Cheshire and Robin Lovelace
Spatial Data Visualisation with R
Paul Torrens
Geographical Agents in Three Dimensions
Michael Batty
Scale, Power Laws, and Rank Size in Spatial Analysis
Exploring movements in space
Andrew Crooks
Agent-Based Modeling and Geographical Information Systems
Kirk Harland; and Mark Birkin
Microsimulation Modelling for Social Scientists
Harvey Miller
Spatio-Temporal Knowledge Discovery
David Rohde and Jonathan Corcoran
Circular Statistics
Making geographical decisions
Alexandros Alexiou and Alexander Singleton
Geodemographic Analysis
Seth Spielman and David Folch
Social Area Analysis and Self Organizing Maps
Daniel Lewis
Kernel density estimation and Percent Volume Contours
Melanie Tomintz, Graham Clarke and Nawaf Alfadhli
Location-Allocation Models
Explaining how the world works
Tomoki Nakaya
Geographically Weighted Generalised Linear Modelling
Karyn Morrissey
Spatial Interaction Models
Sergio Rey
Python Spatial Analysis Library (PySAL): An Update And Illustration
Chris Brunsdon and Alex Singleton
Reproducible Research: Concepts, Techniques and Issues
Enabling interactions
Chris Brunsdon and Lex Comber
Using Crowd-Sourced Information to Analyse Changes in the Onset of the North American Spring
Oliver O’Brien
Open Source GIS software
Richard Kingston
Public Participation in Geocomputation to Support Spatial Decision Making


This is a vital primer to what is ‘Big’ about geocomputation: new data (and lots of them), innovative methods of analysis, new geographic information technologies and, above all, an over-arching rethink of how we represent geography. It provides an important and strategic contribution to contemporary scientific geography and data analytics.

Paul Longley, Professor of Geographic Information Science
University College London

Brunsdon and Singleton offer a unique contribution to the zeitgeist of geocomputation. Geocomputation as a ubiquitous and quite novel field, is explored by the authors in a deductive and highly constructive fashion. The authors offer a wide array of applications brought by leading scholars in the field of Geographic Information Science, spatial analysis and spatial modelling. The role of new techniques that are revolutionizing the usage of geocomputation is well explored and the systematic approach the book adopts in envisioning available tools is appropriately constructed. This book is a great contribution for an advancing field, and a much welcomed achievement for the growth of a new kind of spatial science.

Eric Vaz
Director of the Laboratory for Geocomputation, Ryerson University

This book is written assuming some exposure to modeling and displaying geo-referenced data in engineering and/or geography context. It would work well for advanced undergraduates in geography or master's level students in statistics, engineering, or geography.

Professor Eunice Kim
Mathematics and Statistics, Amherst College
March 30, 2016

This book provides up-to-date examples of geocomputation tools, methods and visualization ways. Authors provides several practical examples for researchers and student of geography or GIS. Current improvements in GIS and geocomputation involves open source GIS programs and new ways to produce spatial data. All examples and method descriptions provide good starting point to the world of current state of geocomputation.

My opinion is that this book is suitable course material for advanced GIS courses at university level. The best side in this book is the extensive use of colourful maps and figures. Example maps are essential when demonstrating GIS methodology and example studies. In this way the reader can absorb more knowledge.

Dr Petteri Muukkonen
Department of Geography, University of Helsinki
October 16, 2015

for MSc in GIS students

Dr Jianquan Cheng
Department Environ'l & Geographical Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University
September 3, 2014

For instructors

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