GEOG 705        Spring 2007

Statistical Methods for Geography


Class Hours:                Tuesday & Thursday  15:35 -16:50                                   

Location:                      HSS 290 (the Geographic Teaching Lab)

Course Materials:         P:\courses\G705\Spring2007



Instructor:                     XiaoHang Liu (, note there is an "h")

Office Location:            HSS 269, 415-338-7509

Office hours:                 TH 12:30 13:10 & 14:30-15:30



Rogerson, P. Statistical Methods for Geography. Second edition. SAGE Publications (Required).


1. Student license of ArcView 9.1 with 3 extensions is available free for enrolled students.

2. SPSS installed in HSS 290 and other campus computing labs.

3. MathType 5.2 downloadable from the internet

Course Description:

This course is an introduction to statistical methods for geography. It aims to provide an exposure to classical statistics as well as spatial statistics which can be used to analyze real-world geographical data. Topics progress from descriptive statistics, probability distribution, hypothesis formulation and testing, correlation and regression, data reduction and cluster analysis, to spatial pattern. The goal is to help students understand the utility and assumptions of various statistical methods, to learn how to use statistical package to simplify geographic problem solving, and learn how to apply statistical techniques to real geographical problems.

Prerequisites: Geog. 103 and Geog 603 are required. Geog. 620/621 are strongly recommended.

Materials: Students are required to prepare a USB thumb drive for file transfer and backup.

Methods of Instruction: Lecture, demonstration, laboratory, and discussion. For most assignments, student should plan on working one to two extra hours in addition to the assigned lab time.

Grading and Exams: There will be 10 homeworks, 2 exams, 1 project, and 1 paper discussion. All homework, project, and exams are required to pass this class. All homeworks must be submitted in hard copy on or before the due date. No late submission is accepted!

The course grade will be based on the following allocations: 45% labs, 40% exams, 10% project, 5% paper discussion. 

Grading will be on a percentage basis: 100-90% A, 89-80% B, 79-70% C, 69-60% D. Plus/minus grades will be assigned for points near the margins. Within the 100-90% range, A if both exams are 90+/100, A- otherwise.  

Incomplete grade is only assigned if the student has completed 75% of the course work AND provided proof of a strenuous situation.











Overview, diagnostic exam

Lab 1: Intro. to  MathType, due 2/1

Appendix B


1/30, 2/1

Descriptive Statistics

Lab 2: Descriptive Statistics, due 2/8

Chapter 1, 2


2/6, 2/8

Probability distributions

Lab 3: Probability distributions, due 2/15 

Chapter 4


2/13, 2/15

Hypothesis testing 

Lab 4: Hypothesis testing, due 2/22

Chapter 5


2/20, 2/22

Analysis of Variance

Lab 5: ANOVA, due 3/1

Chapter 6


2/27, 3/1

Exam I -- paper   Exam I -- Take home, Due 3/8



3/6, 3/8

Correlation and Regression Lab 6: Correlation and Regression, due 3/15

Chapter 7&8


3/13, 3/15

More on Regression 

Lab 7: Multiple linear regression, due 3/22

Chapter 9

9 3/20, 3/22 Data Reduction Lab 8: Data reduction, due 3/29

Chapter 12

10 3/27, 3/29 Exam II -- paper Exam II -- take home, due 4/5    


4/3, 4/5 Point Pattern Analysis Lab 9: Point Pattern Analysis, due 4/19  Chapter 9


4/10, 4/12 Spring Break, No Class.                


4/17, 4/19

Area pattern analysis Lab 10: Area pattern analysis  Due 4/26 Chapter 10


4/24, 4/26





5/1, 5/3





5/8, 5/10

Project Presentation

Project Presentation




Final Project Due

Paper discussion: Throughout the semester, each student will lead a 20-minute discussion on how statistical methods are used to solve real-world problems. Students can select a paper from the bibliography of the textbook or on their own, and are responsible to acquire and make the paper available to the entire class. Sign up sheet will be distributed in the first class. The title of the selected paper is due in week 2.

Syllabus and schedule are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances. Students are responsible to catch up with the announcements and changes. The university policy on plagiarism and disability can be found from SFSU website.