Geostatistics can be regarded as a collection of numerical techniques that deal with the characterization of spatial attributes, employing primarily random models in a manner similar to the way in which time series analysis characterizes temporal data. The French engineer Georges Matheron—at the time with the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières—coined the word géostatistique, inspired by the clear meaning and success of the older terms geochemistry and geophysics in which the prefix geo- was added to the name of some classical body of knowledge to denote an application of such knowledge to the modeling and understanding of processes of interest in earth sciences and technology (Matheron, 1962, p. 22; Journel and Huijbregts, 1978, p. vi). Both geostatistics and time series analysis are conceptually and historically related and primarily address the situation in which inferences must be drawn from autocorrelated data that are insufficient for obtaining precise results. Unlike time series analysis, however, geostatistics was not originally developed by mainstream statisticians, which accounts for its terminology and a notation that at first sight may be unfamiliar to scientists with training in classical statistics (Christensen, 1991, p. 262).
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Ricardo A. Olea
- Springer US
- Chapter 1
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