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New Book Chapter: Introduction to Spatial Analysis

Figure from a book chapter, illustrating spatial autocorrelation © René Westerholt

Spatial analysis is concerned with disclosing and understanding spatial structures. The latter play a major role in many investigations of urban spaces, for example when it comes to epidemiological issues, infrastructures and their effects, or socio-economic processes. However, spatial analysis differs from non-spatial statistics in important ways. The additional models of spatial interdependencies that have to be considered complicate the drawing of inferences and make the correct interpretation of corresponding statistical measures more difficult. Many introductions to spatial statistics are written either from a statistical and thus very formal point of view, or from an overly applied perspective. The former discourages many students of applied or empirical disciplines, while the latter often leads to the conveyance of too limited technical detail and thus too little methodological understanding.  The newly published book chapter 'Exploratory statistical analysis of spatial structures in urban datasets' by René Westerholt attempts to bridge these two perspectives as well as possible. The chapter first motivates the engagement with spatial-statistical methods in an application-driven way by giving an overview of a wide range of applications of corresponding methods from different urban research fields. Then, using Moran's I as an example, the essential characteristics of spatial statistics are elaborated. This is done deliberately via the bypass of the correlation measure Pearson r, since this measure is well known to the vast majority of empirical students and researchers. By explaining the differences between r and Moran's I, both conceptually and technically, a sufficiently deep understanding of the differences in spatial statistics is established. After the technical introduction, the reader is presented with specialised measures for more challenging issues such as the analysis of flows or rate variables. Overall, the chapter is intended to be of assistance to both advanced students of spatial disciplines in the broadest sense, but also to corresponding researchers who wish to learn more about spatial statistics.

The chapter has been published open access and can be found online:

Westerholt, R. (2022). Exploratory statistical analysis of spatial structures in urban datasets. In: Gurr, J., Parr, R. and Hardt, D. (eds.): Metropolitan Research: Methods and Approaches. Bielefeld, Germany: transcript, 37–61.


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The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

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