Spatial Statistics- Producing a canon

Nelson’s summary paper on spatial stats provided a solid framework for dominant strains of thought both in the past and looking forward. One portion of the paper provided a list of important works on the subject with brief descriptions. While I found this to be something of a bizarre format for this sort of paper, I appreciate the question it raises of what might be considered canonical in technical literature. Unsurprisingly, there is discrepancy between what works different spatial statisticians deem most important as guides for newcomers. Nelson himself adds books that he feels were overlooked (or not published at time of survey) revealing he and his reviewers’ own biases.
What I am circling around can be brought to a critical question of: how do we decide what is important, and who gets to decide? This is really what we were asking when trying to peg GIS as a tool or a science. Which aspect of GIS is most important (and critically, why?). While in spatial stats, a basis of formulae and conceptual tools is necessary, where do we go from there? Once we are past the most essential technical aspects of a discipline, defining what is important becomes more subjective. In looking at this particular literature list (which is doubtless helpful to newcomers), I think it is important to question what it means to define what is to be remembered and what is to be forgotten.



Comments are closed.