From the Introduction: “This chapter describes how technologies for gathering, processing, analyzing, and displaying geo-referenced information have opened paths for spatial thinking and for the discovery of complex relationships that are revealed most clearly in geographical context. It outlines general principles of spatially integrated social science and some of the fundamental concepts of spatial thinking that are of most value to interdisciplinary perspectives on issues in the social sciences (Goodchild and Janelle, 2004). Through analytical cartography, spatial statistics, and geographic information systems (GIS), social scientists integrate theory and empirical analyses around five significant examples of spatial reasoning. These include: (1) identifying changes in the uses of, and regional differentiation of, space(s), (2) measuring the physical arrangement and clustering of phenomena to detect spatial patterns, (3) documenting spatial patterns over time to infer processes, (4) studying flows (e.g., migration, trade, and shopping patterns) between specific locations as indicators of spatio-temporal interactions, and (5) measuring spatial associations (and space-time associations) for testing hypotheses.”


Full citation:

Janelle, D. G. and M. F. Goodchild (2011). Concepts, Principles, Tools, and Challenges in Spatially Integrated Social Science. In Nyerges, T.L., H. Couclelis, and R. McMaster (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of GIS & Society. Sage Publications. pp 27-45.



Concepts, Principles, Tools, and Challenges in Spatially Integrated Social Science



Donald G. Janelle and Michael F. Goodchild