The reality of uncertain data cannot be ignored. Anytime that spatial data are used to assist planning, decision making, or policy generation, it is likely that error or uncertainty in the data will propagate through processing protocols and analytic techniques, potentially leading to biased or incorrect decision making. The ability to directly account for uncertainty in spatial analysis efforts is critically important. This article focuses on addressing data uncertainty in one of the most important and widely used exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) techniques—choropleth mapping—and proposes an alternative map classification method for uncertain spatial data. The classification approach maximizes within-class homogeneity under data uncertainty while explicitly integrating spatial characteristics to reduce visual map complexity and to facilitate pattern perception. The method is demonstrated by mapping the 2009 to 2013 American Community Survey estimates of median household income in Salt Lake County, Utah, at the census tract level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes