Webinar Series: An Introduction to Spatial Regression Models

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Event type: 
10:00am - 12:00noon PST


This webinar takes place over four sessions:
Session 1 - Tuesday May 8th | Session 2 - Thursday May 10th
Session 3 - Tuesday May 15 | Session 4 - Thursday May 17th

Software used: GeoDa and R


This webinar series “An Introduction to Spatial Regression Models” provides an overview of spatial regression models and their application in the analysis of spatially-referenced data. Taught through a lens of health, this short course introduces users to the spatial-analytic framework and how spatial regression can be used to explore the importance of spatial relationships between health, social and environmental processes. The role of spatial autocorrelation in spatial data is a central focus of this course. We will discuss how it arises, how it is measured, and its treatment as either a nuisance or an interesting phenomenon using spatial regression techniques.

This course is intended for users who are interested in learning how to incorporate and adjust for spatial complexities and context. It focuses on the application of models, when and how to run and interpret the results with general formulas presented but does not delve into their statistical theory. Users will be introduced to the open-source software GeoDa as well as R, a free, open-source language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. No prior working knowledge of GeoDa or R is required, but some familiarity with R is recommended.

The webinar series will be divided into four 2-hour sessions. Background theory and live demos will be presented during the live session, with take-home practice assignments and readings provided to further explore the theory, methods and applications of spatial regression..

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Prior required knowledge

Familiarity with R is an asset though not mandatory for enrollment. Knowledge in basic methods for descriptive statistics, statistical inference, linear regression and use of spatial data will be assumed.

Webinar objectives

By the end of this webinar series, participants will be able to:

  • Understand why spatial data is unique
  • Assess global and local spatial autocorrelation using GeoDa and R
  • Conduct exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) using GeoDa and R
  • Run and interpret spatial error and spatial lag regression models using GeoDa and R
  • Run and interpret Geographical Weighted Regression (GWR) models using R

Course content

Session 1 – Introduction to Spatial Analytic Framework

  • What is a spatial question?
  • Why do I need spatial regression? Why is it important?
  • Exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) mapping and visualizations using GeoDa
  • Introduction to spatial packages in R

Practice Exercise: Exploring Spatial Data

Session 2 – Spatial Autocorrelation

  • Spatial autocorrelation overview – how does it arise?
  • Measuring spatial autocorrelation
  • The spatial weight matrix: what is it, why is it important, and how to choose one?
  • Calculating spatial autocorrelation in R

Practice Exercise:  Measuring spatial autocorrelation

Session 3 – Spatial Regression Models

  • What is spatial regression and how is it different from OLS?
  • What is a spatial error model?
  • What is a spatial lag model?
  • How do error and lag models differ and when do I use them?
  • Spatial lag and spatial error models in R

Practice Exercise: Spatial Regression Models I

Session 4 – Spatial Non Stationarity & Local Regression Models

  • What is spatial non-stationarity and why is it important?
  • What is the difference between global and local spatial regression models?
  • Application of local (Geographical Weighted Regression, GWR) models

Practice Exercise: Spatial Regression Models II

Webinar format

The interactive webinar software will provide remote access for students to view the instructor's screen, listen to the lecture in real time, and ask questions. The instructor will provide lecture slides (PowerPoint) and required readings prior to the start of the webinar. For practice between webinar sessions and for follow up study, students will also receive training data and programming code for GeoDa and R.

Students can download the R software package for use on their computers through this site:

Instructor biography

Lauren Yee is a Masters of Geography candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has over 7 years experience in GIS from working in municipal government and her previous research in susceptible populations to air pollution, avian influenza and spatial modelling of wildlife distributions and disease. Her interdisciplinary background has provided her with the experience of working with many different types of datasets, methodologies and their related data quality issues and methods of visualization. She has taught workshops on GIS in academic settings and in the municipal environment.  Her research interests include: spatial epidemiology, Ecohealth approach, determinants of health, white nose syndrome and zoonoses.

Workshop fees

Regular rate: $265
Student rate: $165


For more information or to register contact:
Education and Training Lead: Ann Greenwood - ann.greenwood@popdata.bc.ca

Page last revised: March 8, 2018