Spatial Analysis & Data Visualization @ SFSU

Chapter 1 – Using GIS to analyze cities in a global world

This chapter discusses spatial analysis methods in relation to conventional aspatial social science quantitative methods to illustrate how GIS can add value to research and should be adopted by those not yet fluent with these methods. It introduces fundamental GIS concepts and methods that social scientists concerned with global cities and their regions are most likely to find useful. These methods are applicable anywhere in the world as long as high-quality and appropriate spatial data is available for the type of research questions at hand. The chapter provides an overview of several basic functionalities of GIS software (querying, classification, symbolizing), and types of GIS analysis (single-layer analysis, multi-layer analysis, and the analysis of spatial patterns). Exercise 1 uses data analyzed in this chapter.