Session 34

Quantitative Methods of Spatial Analysis

Quantitative researchers are conducting a growing number of studies in the Global South. To recognize the diversity of regions within the Global South in general and within nations in particular our classical container models of space (equalizing culture and nation) face more and more difficulties to adequately grasp spatial dynamics. Potential new directions for quantitative studies are central, firstly in the search for adequate units of analysis at flexible regional levels and secondly to incorporate fine-tuned spatial characteristics in our methodological approaches.

Our aim in this session is to look for fruitful intersections between the discipline of social geography and sociology to include spatial information in our broad range of quantitative methods in the social sciences. Due to technological advancements, researchers now have new ways to operationalize data and to measure them with greater accuracy. The new low-cost options for data acquisition ensure that empirically relevant information can be obtained at precise “resolutions” within very small-scale spatial units. One of the most prominent directions in this regard is to link GIS data with survey data. Here, it is possible to uncover different spatial layers and to measure their impact on the living conditions or attitudinal and behavioral characteristics of individuals. This method—using the advances of the mediatization of the social world and the new benefits of digitalization—is perfectly tailored to enhance our knowledge of spatial dynamics at the micro level. Across various countries and regions on a global scale we are able to obtain precise measures of local characteristics, which can be interpreted as clear signs of the social production of space. Additionally, the preciseness of GIS data reflects even higher standards compared to surveys, which are often susceptible to bias. Using the quality criteria of quantitative research, we can state that physical/material data can be seen as reliable and valid to measure infrastructure at the local level. Of course these data can be notably enriched by data on living conditions or attitudinal and behavioral dynamics based on survey data or alternative quantitative approaches.

In short, we are looking forward to receive submissions concerning studies which have been conducted in the Global South. Especially regarding the dominance of Western based approaches we still know only little about how data is collected and how different methodological approaches are combined in other world regions. We therefore particularly welcome studies from Africa and other regions focusing on new methods and innovative solutions to achieve a spatially integrated methodology.




1.Application of spatial methods to optimize Antiretroviral (ARV) uptake in rural Botswana

Matlhogonolo Kelepile  (University of Botswana, Botswana)

Sue C. Grady  (Michigan State University, USA)

Botswana was the first African country to introduce free antiretroviral treatment (ART) to people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but today it has the fourth highest HIV prevalence rate (20.3 per 100 population) in the world. This study investigates the availability and accessibility of ART facilities in Botswana and the utilization of ART services in districts with high HIV prevalence and low percentages of ART uptake. Availability and accessibility are measured using Botswana’s ART site model and road network analysis. Microdata on HIV status from the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey IV (BAIS IV) survey, and patient data on antiretroviral (ARV) utilization is examined at the health district level. The results show the spatial mean centers of hierarchically clustered ART facilities within ART sites are strategically located in areas of high population density. Many rural people across the country travel more than three hours to ART services. Within five rural health districts there are substantial ART facility patient deficits. Future planning should focus on increasing ART services and road infrastructure in rural areas, ART uptake for men, and ART adherence in relation to circular migration and social stigmas in rural destinations to ensure the success of the Treat All Program in Botswana.


2.Using GIS for a typomorphological analysis of four university campuses in Algeria

Youcef Mokrane  (University of Biskra, Algeria)

Saïd Mazouz  (University of Oum El-Bouaghi, Algeria)

This paper is a part of PhD in progress at the university of Biskra in Algeria. It presents a process of establishment of a campus information system of four university campuses in Algeria using a GIS platform that integrates reliable data for typomorphological analysis. It focuses on establishing a typomorphological comparison between campuses of universities of Biskra, Constantine-03, Batna-02 and USTHB of Algiers. The paper analyzes also data related to master planning conditions and historical physical development of these universities. A literature review of notions of GIS applied to typomorphology studies and university campuses as well as the history of campus physical planning environment in Algeria is presented. The main methodology of the paper is based on three main steps of modelling, documenting and analyzing processes using QGIS, Geoda and R platforms. A vectorial modelling process of land use zones, buildings shapes, accessibility networks, open space design and furnishing is performed through QGIS platform. It contains, besides a modelling of individual geometrical forms, a setup of a structure of topology links between land use elements, buildings object, open space and accessibility networks in the four campuses. A range of diverse attribute data related to architectural as well as functional, historical and space use patterns properties are also introduced to the platform. A comparison of the four campuses using statistical analysis of modelling processes and attribute data is then performed. It aims to determine whether historical physical planning conditions were relevant to affect the nature of morphological campus identities. Preliminary results confirm the relevance of establishing campus informational systems with typomorphological data using GIS that supports a great range of architectural,social, historical and environmental data. Results show also that the evolution of morphological expressions of university campuses in Algeria seem strongly related to the socio-political conditions of physical planning since decolonization in 1962.


3.Environmental Inequality in Four European Cities. A Study Combining Household Survey and Geo-Referenced Data analyzed by spatial regression models

Andreas Diekmann  (University of Leipzig and ETH Zurich, Germany)

Heidi Bruderer Enzler  (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Jörg Hartmann  (University of Goettingen, Germany)

Karin Kurz  (University of Goettingen, Germany)

Ulf Liebe  (University of Warwick, UK)

Combining individual-level survey data and geo-referenced administrative noise data for four European cities (Bern, Zurich, Hanover, Mainz; n=7,450), we test the well-known social gradient hypothesis which states that exposure to residential noise is higher for households in lower socioeconomic positions. In addition, we introduce and test the “environmental shielding hypothesis” which states that if there are environmental bads in the neighbourhood, privileged social groups have more and better opportunities to shield themselves against them. Our results show that for many residents of the four cities, observed road traffic and aircraft noise levels are above WHO limits. Yet estimates of spatial error regression models only partly support the social gradient hypothesis. For example, the proposed negative relationship between income and noise exposure is rather weak. Albeit socioeconomic groups tend to be equally confronted with road traffic and aircraft noise, high-income households are still more able to evade environmental noise. We compare OLS regressions and spatial regression models, and we explore on how alternative model specifications might have an impact on statistical estimations. We also demonstrate how to combine geo-referenced data with household data analyzed by using Geo-Information System (GIS) software.


4.Geomorphologic and topographic conditions influence in shoreline dynamic analysis along the southern coast of Rufisque department (Dakar/Senegal)

Ibrahima Pouye  (WASCAL, Senegal)

Among the impacts of climate change in equatorial areas particularly in west Africa, coastal erosion is the most threaten apart from flood and the increase in temperature. Therefore, scientists are more and more interested in a better understanding of the processes and generator factors of this phenomenon. Far from being safe, Rufisque department as part of the more exposed coastal zones in Dakar region records the most current coastal damages due to its coastline dynamics, low lying area, the geomorphologic conditions, etc. This study was conducted in three littoral cells in the Rufisque department (Bargny, Sendou and Toubab Dialaw) and aims to point out the influence of the geomorphologic and topographic conditions in the coastline dynamics. First of all, the Modified Normalized Different Water index (MNDWI) using the historical Landsat images was utilized to delineate the coastlines before computing the evolution rate. After that, the relationship between the coastline dynamic rate, geomorphologic and topographic conditions have been used through the linear regression model. The results show that, Lithosols, Regosols dismantled on sandstone and Non or slightly leached ferruginous soils on colluvium there is no significant relationship between the geomorphologic and pedologic conditions with a coefficient about -0.38 and other parameters such as population density can explain this dynamic. In the Sendou littoral cells where the pedology is marked by Holomorphic soils on clayey material, hydromorphic soils on clayey material poorly developed imported soils on sands and Vertic hydromorphic soils on marly-limestone clay material with varying degrees of tirsification, the relationship is no significant with a coefficient about 0.38. In the Toubab Dialaw littoral cell where the pedology is marked by Holomorphic soils on clayey material and hydromorphic soils on clayey material poorly developed imported soils on sands, the relationship is significant with a coefficient about 0.69.