Evaluation of a spatial relationship by the concept of intrinsic spatial distance
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We propose the concept of intrinsic spatial distance (ISD) for the study of a spatial relationship between any two points in space. ISD is a distance measure that takes into account the separation of two points with respect to their physical and attribute closeness. We construct an algorithm to implement this concept as an ISD measurement. Based on the ISD concept, two points in space are related through a transitional path linking one to the other. As an ISD measurement decreases, the spatial relationship between two points becomes increasingly stronger. We argue theoretically and demonstrate empirically that the ISD concept is not predisposed in favor of the first law of geography, but directly considers variance of nearness in physical distance and attribute distance to derive the extent to which two points are spatially associated. Specifically, in single attribute cases, the information uncovered by an ISD measurement is more elaborate than that revealed by Moran's I, local Moran's I, and a semivariogram, giving a meticulous account of relatedness in both local and global contexts. The ISD concept is also sufficiently general to be used to study multiple attributes of relationships. © 2013 The Ohio State University.
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