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About this book

This edited volume compiles a set of papers that present various applications of spatial analysis, both traditional and contemporary, on diverse subjects in a wide range of contexts. The volume is dedicated to the memory of the late Professor Pavlos Kanaroglou, McMaster University, Canada, who greatly contributed to scientific and applied research on spatial analysis. In his honor, the book offers a selection of various spatial analysis approaches to the study of contemporary urban transportation, land use, and air pollution issues.

The first part of the book discusses selected general issues in spatial analysis; ontologies, agent-based modelling and accessibility analysis. The second part deals with urban transportation analysis and modelling issues; agent-based activity/travel microsimulation, bottleneck models, public transit use, freight transport and connected automated vehicles impact assessment. Part three focuses on integrated land use and transport analysis, discussing the land value impacts of public transport infrastructure, the role of transport provision on business evolution and commute distance considerations in urban relocation. The fourth part, on travel-related air pollution analysis, presents the development of a geo-information software for mapping Aerosol Optical Thickness in urban environments and the development of a neighborhood level, real time, internet-enabled, air pollution map in the Canadian urban context. This book will appeal to academics, researchers, graduate students, consultants, and practitioners working on topics related to spatial analysis, land use and transport analysis, planning and decision making, and air pollution studies.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Practice of Spatial Analysis

The chapter provides a broad-brush introduction to the subject of spatial analysis as a general backdrop to the discussion of the individual chapters of this volume. It first offers a range of definitions of spatial analysis from the human geography viewpoint mainly, which reflect its historical evolution. Then, it discusses the practice of spatial analysis in terms of broad streams of methods and techniques that have developed over time, in several of which Prof. Kanaroglou has contributed important research. Next, it presents the individual contributions and closes with a discussion of their main features, organized in terms of theory, methods/techniques, applications, and policy relevance, which point to the respective open issues that future research is called to address to enhance the role of spatial analysis in contemporary data-rich, technologically advanced, and decision-intensive contexts.

Helen Briassoulis, Dimitris Kavroudakis, Nikolaos Soulakellis

Spatial Analysis: Selected Topics


Pavlos Kanaroglou, his McMaster Institute for Transportation and Logistics and Research Contributions to the City of Hamilton (2007–2016)

At an age when others might have considered slowing down, Pavlos Kanaroglou was just getting started. Neither his age nor the knowledge that he had chronic leukemia were going to stand in his way. Pavlos had accomplished a lot in his years as an academic (he held, for example, a prestigious Tier 1 Canada Research Chair for two consecutive 7 year terms up to 2015) but he felt the need to do something new and ambitious that would be of additional service to society. Pavlos was integral to the process that led to the formation, in October 2007, of the McMaster Institute for Transportation and Logistics (MITL) and he was the natural choice to take on the role of the Institute’s founding director. MITL was launched in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada which had been Pavlos’ home from the mid-1970s. During Pavlos’ tenure, the Institute completed a substantial body of work, associated with approximately $3.5M in funding. Much of the research that was undertaken intertwined with aspects of Pavlos’ expertise and was quite applicable for his adopted hometown. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a retrospective look at the insights that emerged for Hamilton as MITL grew and as Pavlos did all he could for the benefit of both, and for the development of his students and team members.

Mark R. Ferguson, Christopher D. Higgins, Moataz Mohamed

An Ontological Framework for Spatial Socioeconomic Units

Spatial units often serve as reference to socioeconomic phenomena constituting what is known as spatial socioeconomic units (SSEUs). SSEUs find a wide application in geography. This chapter presents the development of an ontological framework for the systematic definition of SSEUs on the basis of their properties, and particularly the spatial ones. Special attention is paid to the most common case of SSEUs, i.e., administrative units. SSEUs defined based on this framework can be effectively compared not only at the class level but also at the instance level. Furthermore, the restructuring of SSEUs and their unification into larger ones is greatly facilitated by the proposed property-based definition.

Athanasia Darra, Marinos Kavouras

Spatial Microsimulation and Agent-Based Modelling

This chapter critically reviews the state-of-the-art in spatial microsimulation and agent-based modelling approaches with an emphasis on efforts to combine them in order to address applied geography problems. Spatial microsimulation typically involves the merging of census and social survey data to simulate a population of individuals within households (for different geographical units) whose characteristics are as close to the real population as it is possible to estimate (and for small areas for which this information is not available from published sources). Microsimulation is closely linked conceptually to another type of individual-level modelling: agent-based models (ABM). ABM are normally associated with the behaviour of multiple agents in a social or economic system. This chapter offers an overview of the state-of-the-art of both modelling approaches as well as a discussion of attempts to combine them, with an articulation of a relevant research agenda.

Dimitris Ballas, Tom Broomhead, Phil Mike Jones

Spatial Patterns of Accessibility Between Islands of the North and South Aegean Regions and Attica

Accessibility is an important determinant of socio-economic development at all spatial levels because it critically affects the operations and success of economic activities. Measures of accessibility are frequently used to support development policy-making and spatial planning. The spatial sciences provide several quantitative approaches to assess accessibility and identify over- and under-served areas. This chapter contributes to the broader issue of quantifying accessibility by analyzing the spatial patterns of accessibility in the case of a very fragmented geographical space; the islands of the North and South Aegean Sea Regions, Greece. Following a preliminary spatial analysis of: transportation route frequency, passengers/population, two graph theory metrics and mean ticket cost, clustering methods, enhanced by introducing local indices of spatial association, are employed to determine possible groupings of islands and delineate spatial clusters based on their accessibility. “Hot spots” of accessibility in the study area are identified, suggesting that accessibility is more spatially clustered than would be expected under a random model.

Dimitris Kavroudakis, Polydoropoulos Ioakeim, Kyriakidis Phaedon, Kizos Thanassis

Analysis and Modelling of Urban Transportation


Agent-Based Activity/Travel Microsimulation: What’s Next?

This chapter briefly summarizes and reviews the current generation of operational activity/tour-based model systems. These model systems are developed to varying degrees within an agent-based microsimulation (ABM) framework. ABM provides an extremely flexible, powerful, and efficient means for modelling complex spatial-temporal, socio-economic behaviour such as travel. A high-level definition of microsimulation in general and agent-based microsimulation in particular is presented. Overall, currently operational activity/travel model systems represent a sound “first generation” of such methods, but they are far from realizing the full potential of the ABM concept. A wide range of issues and challenges in advancing the ABM-based activity/travel modelling state of the art are discussed, leading to a few suggestions for key “next steps” in model development.

Eric J. Miller

Bottleneck Models and Departure Time Problems

This chapter is concerned with the analysis of departure times in dynamic bottleneck models. First, the case of a set of individual drivers is discussed through both deterministic and stochastic approaches. The analysis is then extended to a new model that combines small and large agents. In the stochastic setting, the focus is mainly on model building. Simulations are planned for the near future.

André de Palma, Claude Lefèvre

Factors Influencing Journey-to-Work by Public Transit in Mega Canadian Cities

In this chapter, a modeling exercise is carried out to analyze the factors influencing the journey-to-work by public transit in the largest two Canadian urban centers: Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. Transit trip generation at the census tract level for the year 2011 is regressed against urban form and network design variables after controlling for several socio-economic and demographic variables. The simultaneous auto-regressive (SAR) modeling approach is employed to account for the presence of spatial dependencies in the modeled data. These spatial effects are usually neglected in travel demand models, leading to bias in the estimates obtained. While the estimated socio-economic and demographic parameters reinforce previous findings from the literature, the inclusion of urban form and network design variables offers new insights regarding the role that urban planning can have on transit trip generation. The results reported in this chapter can, thus, help promote sustainable urban planning policies.

Rahaf Husein, Hanna Maoh, Dimitris Potoglou

Freight Transportation: The Evolving Landscape of Matters and Models

The 1980s marked the beginning of tumultuous changes in transportation with the forces of deregulation and privatization undertaken by states across the globe. It also marks a time where computing power began its dispersion and ascension, contributing to significant developments in the models applied to transportation challenges. This chapter provides a critical synopsis of the major matters that have influenced freight transportation over the past 30 years and the methods and models applied to those matters. Through this synopsis, the research contributions of Dr. Kanaroglou to the field of freight transportation are highlighted. In the 1980s, studying freight transportation in the intercity and metropolitan context was not a high priority and nor was it politically important. “Freight matters”—in one meaning is a call for recognition, and this chapter argues the call has been answered, concluding with a discussion of exciting prospects for the future.

Clarence Woudsma

A Structural Equation Model of Commercial Vehicle Ownership

Behavioral freight transportation modeling has recently emerged as an approach to enhance the quality of freight and logistics-related decisions. Commercial vehicle fleet ownership and composition is one important decision a business establishment faces that has not been adequately addressed in the literature. This research investigates vehicle ownership of small/medium-sized business establishments in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) using a structural equation modeling approach. The model reveals a complementary relationship between the number of cars and trucks owned, indicating that, on average, for each owned car there is a 17% increase in the number of owned trucks. This model can be used for estimating the number of owned cars, pickups/vans, and trucks for establishments located in the GTHA according to their location, industrial sector, freight demand, and some establishment characteristics.

Toka S. Mostafa, Matthew J. Roorda

Applying Behavior Change Theory to Predict Travel Behavior of University Commuters

Selecting the right alternatives to an existing travel mode for commuting to a major trip generator at the center of a metropolitan area is often a complex project. In this chapter, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece is the major trip generator in a study that compares the predictions of two approaches, both of which use discrete choice modeling, regarding the number of commuters who are willing to change travel mode if the right alterative is offered to them. The first is the conventional approach that, using travel cost and travel time as the main travel mode choice determinants, is applied to a selected (aggregate) sample of the commuter population. The second approach uses the same determinants but stratifies the sample into four strata according to the behavioral change stage to which the commuters belong. The model results indicate that the predicted travel mode choice behavior differs significantly among the persons in the sample depending on which behavioral change stage they are in. This study suggests that transport policy makers might better devise targeted interventions to maximize the positive socioeconomic and environmental impacts of travel mode alternatives.

Panagiotis Papaioannou, Ioannis Politis

Developing a Spatial Transferability Platform to Analyze National-Level Impacts of Connected Automated Vehicles

A recent application of the spatial transferability approach is to assess the potential impacts of the emerging connected automated mobility technology on people’s travel behavior at the national level. While there are a few transportation simulation frameworks which can account for potential impacts of this technology in a simulated geographical context, there is yet to be any literature documenting disaggregated estimates of large-scale impacts of connected automated vehicles (CAVs) on travel behavior at the national level. Therefore, in order to provide a platform to assess national-level impacts of CAVs, this study develops a methodological framework based on transferability techniques, which uses data and models from a smaller geographical area—the POLARIS simulation results for the CAVs scenario in the Chicago metropolitan area—to generate disaggregate travel data at the national level. Comparison of the distributions of the transferred variables at the regional and the national contexts indicates that the platform is capable of transferring travel behavior indices to the national level with high level of accuracy.

Ramin Shabanpour, Nima Golshani, Thomas S. Stephens, Joshua Auld, Abolfazl Mohammadian

Integrated Land Use/Transport Analysis


The Impact of Public Transport Infrastructure on Residential Land Value: Using Spatial Analysis to Uncover Policy-Relevant Processes

This chapter reports the findings of a recent study, which aims to quantify the land value benefits of public transport infrastructure. The empirical investigation focuses on central Cardiff, Wales, where data comprising approximately 9000 property sale records were collected in the period 2000–2009. Through an exploratory and explanatory spatial data analysis, it was found that: (a) there is an underlying bus stop-oriented spatial dependence of the values of residential land, which varies based on the types of housing property (e.g. detached house, semi-detached house, flat) across different areas in Cardiff; (b) after controlling for spatial dependence, there is still a significant positive correlation between bus stops and change in land value. Most importantly, different types of property seem to benefit differently from land value uplift due to bus stop locations. The highest benefits are identified for flats and semi-detached homes followed by terraced and detached homes. The corresponding price gains range from 1.4% for flats to 0.7% for detached homes.

Dimitris Potoglou, Hanna Maoh, Yiming Wang, Scott Orford

California Business Establishment Evolution and Transportation Provision

This research filled a gap in empirically supported knowledge linking the survival and economic success of business establishments to locational characteristics including access to transportation facilities. This relationship was studied for the entire State of California while controlling in a statistically robust way for a variety of factors influencing business life cycle events, such as closures, formation/birth, and relocation. Using panel data analysis methods and data spanning two decades, the external (local context, transportation network) and internal (business type, number of employees, age of the establishment) factors that influence the success and failure of business establishments were examined. Using panel analysis, manufacturing and retail business establishments were studied in particular illustrating differences and commonalities in event occurrence and the factors that impact these events.

Adam W. Davis, Jae Hyun Lee, Elizabeth C. McBride, Srinath Ravulaparthy, Konstadinos G. Goulias

Investigating the Internal Compromise Between Wife and Husband’s Commute Time Changes in Residential Relocation

This study investigates how employed members in a household compromise their commute times when deciding about the location of household’s living place. The hypothesis of an internal negotiation between household breadwinners is statistically tested using a longitudinal survey of “Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia” (HILDA). The residential relocation history of dual-worker households is extracted from HILDA and according to the variations in commute time before and after relocation a reciprocal model specification is proposed. The reciprocal model is then transformed to a linear model, and the test of overall significance is conducted to validate the hypothesis. It is found that the household structure and wife’s job type have significant impacts on how breadwinners adjust their commute times in response to their partner’s conditions.

Milad Ghasri, Taha Hossein Rashidi

Travel-Related Air Pollution Analysis


Aerosol Optical Thickness Mapper (AOT-Mapper): A Geo-Information Software for AOT Mapping at Urban Scale Using Landsat TM or ETM+ Satellite Images

Aerosol pollutants can engender, via light scattering and absorption, optical atmospheric effects on the signal recorded by high spatial resolution Earth Observation satellite sensors. Under certain conditions, these effects can be isolated on Landsat TM or ETM+ satellite imagery, allowing tracking and mapping aerosol pollution at local and at regional scale. This study aimed at the development of a geo-information software, the aerosol optical thickness mapper (AOT-mapper). The AOT-mapper is a multi-module object-oriented software, specifically designed and developed for aerosol optical thickness monitoring and mapping on the basis of high spatial resolution satellite imagery in urban environments. It comprises the following processing modules: satellite image import, geometric correction of images, radiometric calibration and AOT calculation, and AOT visualization. The AOT-mapper has been successfully tested for mapping the aerosol load distribution over the city of Athens, Greece.

Nikolaos Soulakellis, Themistoklis Kontos, Nikolaos Sifakis, Christos Iossifidis

Mapping Air Pollution Health Risk: An Application of Canada’s AQHI

Human exposure to elevated air pollution has many negative health outcomes. Communicating elevated air pollution concentrations with an air quality (health) index is one an approach to reduce population exposure. The indices translate a cocktail of air pollutants to a single value that can be understood by the general public. People can use the index to avoid activities that will elevate their exposure. Most indices report the health risk for an entire city or large area as a single value. Research into air pollution spatial variability shows that major variations can occur within cities and neighborhoods, so air quality index information, while valuable, may mislead citizens when they estimate their own risk. This chapter describes the development of a neighborhood level, real time, internet enabled air pollution map that can be used by citizens to become aware of their localized air quality health risks and then take appropriate actions.

Matthew Adams, Denis Corr, Weeberb Requia


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