Using Local Statistics for Boundary Characterization

  • Barry Boots
Part of the The GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 70)


Geographic boundary analysis involves the definition and evaluation of boundaries in spatial patterns (see Jacquez et al., 2000, for a review). In this paper, we are concerned with the evaluation of polygon boundaries which are recorded in choropleth maps of thematic properties. In such situations, the polygons may have been determined independently of the mapped phenomena (Mark and Csillag, 1989). Further, the same set of polygons may be used to display a number of different variables. For example, in forestry, the same set of photo-interpreted polygons may be used to display mean dominant height, stand density, species composition, etc. Thus, when we view a single map of a given variable, it is possible that adjacent polygons may have the same value (see Figure 1 for an example). In such circumstances, we may wish to determine how distinctive any given boundary is relative to other boundaries in the mapped pattern. We characterize this as the strength (certainty) of the cartographic boundary.


Strong Boundary Dominant Height Boundary Strength Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis Real Landscape 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Boots
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental StudiesWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada

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