Spatial Optimization in Geography

Daoqin Tong, Alan T. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


This article discusses spatial optimization in geography, focusing on contributions of geographers in explicit geographical contexts. An overview of spatial optimization is given, as well as illustrative examples. Many of the individuals contributing to this area of the discipline are identified, demonstrating the breadth of academic institutions spanning the globe where spatial optimization is represented in the research and curriculum of geographers. The article provides a characterization of what a spatial optimization problem is, but also properties, relationships, and challenges behind this. The ultimate purpose of this article is to highlight the spatial optimization subspecialty within geography and in doing so, highlight the need for continued spatial model development and application in the discipline. Further, there is also a need for research focused on techniques to solve spatial optimization problems, particularly in the context of geographic information systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1290-1309
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • GIS
  • spatial analysis
  • spatial optimization
  • spatial properties
  • spatial relationships
  • spatial representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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