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Statistical Methods for Geography
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Statistical Methods for Geography
A Student's Guide

Third Edition
  • Peter A Rogerson - State University of New York, Buffalo, USA, University of Buffalo, USA


368 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

"This book provides students with everything they need to know in both a basic statistics course and also in introductory courses focused on spatial data analysis. It is extremely well-written, well-organized and has plenty of easily understood examples - really the ideal textbook. I recommend it extremely highly."
— Stewart Fotheringham, Director, National Centre for Geocomputation National University of Ireland Maynooth

The Third Edition of this bestselling text has been fully revised and updated. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the principal methods and techniques that students need to understand in order to successfully complete a statistics module. It remains unique in the teaching literature by being a primer on statistical methods written especially for students of geography, using spatial and geographical examples.

Features new to this edition include:

  • Further introductory material
  • Updated exercises and illustrative examples are provided at the end of each chapter 
  • Downloadable datasets
  • A fully functioning web page with Excel workbook excercises and PowerPoint illustrations

A companion website with resources for instructors and students is available at www.sagepub.co.uk/rogerson.

Preface to the Second Edition

 
Preface to the Third Edition

 
 
Introduction to Statistical Methods for Geography
 
Descriptive Statistics
 
Probability and Discrete Probability Distributions
 
Continuous Probability Distributions and Probability Models
 
Inferential Statistics: Confidence Intervals, Hypothesis Testing and Sampling
 
Analysis of Variance
 
Correlation
 
Introduction to Regression Analysis
 
More on Regression
 
Spatial Patterns
 
Some Spatial Aspects of Regression Analysis
 
Data Reduction: Factor Analysis and Cluster Analysis
 
Epilogue
 
Appendix A: Statistical Tables
Table A.1 Random Digits

 
Table A.2 Normal Distribution

 
Table A.3 Student's t-Distribution

 
Table A.4 Cumulative t-Distribution

 
Table A.5 F-Distribution

 
Table A.6 X2 Distribution

 
 
Appendix B: Mathematical Conventions and Notation
B.1 Mathematical Conventions

 
B.2 Mathematical Notation

 
 
Appendix C: Review and Extension of Some Probability Theory
C.1 Expected Values

 
C.2 Variation of a Random Variable

 
C.3 Covariance of Random Variables

 

This book provides students with everything they need to know in both a basic statistics course and also in introductory courses focused on spatial data analysis. It is extremely well-written, well-organised and has plenty of easily understood examples - really the ideal textbook. I recommend it extremely highly
Stewart Fotheringham
Director, National Centre for Geocomputation National University of Ireland Maynooth


It should be stated on the outset: this is an excellent textbook recommended for

all geographers, students and teachers alike. The book excels in many aspects: its

content is rich and well balanced, its clarity is superb, and it is replete with examples

and exercises. The book is user-friendly to students who are interested in understanding the application of statistical tests and in properly interpreting the results, rather than in delving in the mathematics involved.
Shaul Krakover
Geography Research Forum


Stewart Fotheringham
Director, National Centre for Geocomputation National University of Ireland Maynooth

It should be stated on the outset: this is an excellent textbook recommended for all geographers, students and teachers alike. The book excels in many aspects: its content is rich and well balanced, its clarity is superb, and it is replete with examples and exercises. The book is user-friendly to students who are interested in understanding the application of statistical tests and in properly interpreting the results, rather than in delving in the mathematics involved.

Shaul Krakover
Geography Research Forum

The textbook strikes a nice balance between intuition and some formal treatment of the material. The real value added as a textbook in Geography are the chapters on spatial aspects of canonical regression analysis

Dr Joerg Schoder
Geology and Geography, University of Salzburg
April 4, 2014

This is an excellent book for giving students meaningful examples from the realms of geography. The text is clear and contains a logical structure. However it is quite a dense text covering a lot of areas.

Dr Karen Parkhill
Environment & Natural Resources, Bangor University
January 20, 2014

The best book available on the market and a previous instructor used the second edition.

John Heppen
Geography Dept, Univ Of Wisconsin-River Falls
January 15, 2014

Statistical techniques and procedures are applied in all fields of academic research; wherever data are collected and summarized or wherever any numerical information is analyzed, or research is conducted, statistics are needed for analysis and interpretation of results.
Statistics could be used to analyze geographical data in numerous ways:
• To describe and summarize spatial data.
• To make generalizations concerning complex spatial patterns.
• To estimate the probability of outcomes for an event at a given location.
• To use samples of geographic data to infer characteristics for a larger set of geographic data (population).
• To determine whether the magnitude or frequency of some phenomenon differs from one location to another.
• To learn whether an actual spatial pattern matches some expected pattern.
It is quite difficult to approach these kind of techniques especially for those who are not familiar with geographic contents. For this reason books focusing on this topic are really useful to learn how to consciously use geographical data.

Statistical methods for geography (by Peter A. Rogerson) could be useful to approach the topic of statistics in geography also for beginners. In particular:
1. The book is mainly a statistics book starting from basic concepts like probability and descriptive statistics useful for those who approach the topic for the first time.
2. The book is well written and the concepts are simple to understand.
3. There are many figures and examples, also from the literature, that are essential to make the reading clear and instructive.
4. At the beginning of each chapter there are “learning objectives” helpful to understand what we are finding in the chapter.
5. For each chapter there are solved and unsolved exercises to consolidate what has just been learned.
6. There are examples using software as SPSS and EXCEL with downloadable databases: this is useful because both intermediate (with SPSS) and beginner (with EXCEL) users can put into practice what has just been explained.
7. The most interesting chapters are those that face and deepen the regression using also other type of free software as Geoda, and those treating data reduction (factor and cluster analysis), in fact these techniques are really useful to analyze geographical data.

There are some advices that could be useful for the authors to improve the book:
The book is clearly aimed for beginners, but it has some contents that could be useful for intermediate/advanced users ( mainly the latest chapters).
In order to be more useful for intermediates, it could be a good idea to insert new chapters: one about georeferencing and the managing of Geodatabases, and another to teach how to represent geographical data (with examples with software like ArcGIS and QGIS).

Professor Gabriele Messina
Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena
December 7, 2013

Good all round text. Useful for a number of study areas/disciplines.

Mr Owen Lewis
Swansea Business School, Swansea Metropolitan University
July 11, 2013

The first two chapters in Statistical Methods for Geography provide a particularly useful introduction to the use of statistics in the discipline for undergraduates. Subsequent chapters provide valuable examples of a variety of analyses that can be used to support modules in statistics and dissertation planning.

Mr Joseph Mallalieu
School of Geography, Leeds University
April 5, 2013

Although I continue to find parts of this book useful, for my purposes it is a tough mix by having some parts that are too challenging for my undergraduate class, but too basic for my graduate class. If it fell neatly into one of those categories (UG or Grad), I would be more inclined to use it. Or, if it were more comprehensive, it could serve BOTH my classes (i.e. assign it to both and progress from simpler to harder material over two consecutive semesters).

It is a very good reference, or "second opinion", book for many topics, but leaves me needing still another supplemental book for my purposes, and I try to make my students only ever buy one text.

Dr Jonathan Comer
Geography Dept, Oklahoma State University
September 6, 2012

This book covers all the topics that I cover in my course.

Professor Satish Davgun
Geography Political Sci Dept, Bemidji State University
March 23, 2011

New to the Third Edition:

- further introductory material

- updated exercises and illustrative examples

- updated downloadable datasets

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two


Peter A. Rogerson

I am Professor of Geography and Biostatistics at the University at Buffalo. My research interests are in the area of demography and population change, epidemiology, spatial statistics, and spatial analysis. My current work is focused upon the development of new methods for the quick detection of newly emergent clusters in geographic data (for example, how does one determine as quickly as possible whether there is a new cluster of crime or disease?). More About Author

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