STAMP: Spatial-temporal analysis of moving polygons

Colin Robertson, Trisalyn A. Nelson, Barry Boots, Michael A. Wulder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


Research questions regarding temporal change in spatial patterns are increasingly common in geographical analysis. In this research, we explore and extend an approach to the spatial-temporal analysis of polygons that are spatially distinct and experience discrete changes though time. We present five new movement events for describing spatial processes: displacement, convergence, divergence, fragmentation and concentration. Spatial-temporal measures of events for size and direction are presented for two time periods, and multiple time periods. Size change metrics are based on area overlaps and a modified cone-based model is used for calculating polygon directional relationships. Quantitative directional measures are used to develop application specific metrics, such as an estimation of the concentration parameter for a von Mises distribution, and the directional rate of spread. The utility of the STAMP methods are demonstrated by a case study on the spread of a wildfire in northwestern Montana.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-227
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Geographical Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Events
  • Geocomputation
  • Polygons
  • Spatial pattern analysis
  • Spatial-temporal analysis
  • Spread

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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