Perspectives on zone-based urban analysis
Spielman, Seth E.
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This dissertation is a collection of three essays, the emphasis is on the role of subareas or zones in urban spatial analysis. The first essay explores the history of urban social cartography and develops a data mining technique for zone-based data visualization. The second uses a series of simulations to explore the role of zones in contextual analysis and assesses the impact of zones on the estimation of contextual effects. The term, contextual analysis, as used in this dissertation, refers to the study of the relationship between the physical environment (context) and an individual level outcome. The third essay extends the second by exploring the use of data describing spatial behavior to inform the construction of zones for contextual spatial analysis. While these essays are organized around a theme they are written as independent essays. This introductory chapter will frame the subsequent essays by outlining the historical case for contextual analysis and describing some of the persistent problems in contextual analysis.