Luc Anselin

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Regional Research Institute

Document Number



Regional Research Institute


This chapter reviews the ideas behind interactive and exploratory spatial data analysis and their relation to GIS. Three important aspects are considered. First, an overview is presented of the principles behind interactive spatial data analysis, based on insights from the use of dynamic graphics in statistics and their extension to spatial data. This is followed by a review of spatialised exploratory data analysis (EDA) techniques, that is, ways in which a spatial representation can be given to standard EDA tools by associating them with particular locations or spatial subsets of the data. The third aspect covers the main ideas behind true exploratory spatial data analysis, emphasising the concern with visualising spatial distributions and local patterns of spatial autocorrelation. The geostatistical perspective is considered, typically taken in the physical sciences, as well as the lattice perspective, more familiar in the social sciences. The chapter closes with a brief discussion of implementation issues and future directions.