Future Directions in Spatial Demography

December 12–13, 2011

    A two-day workshop for the presentation, discussion, and summarization of current challenges and opportunities for spatial demography.

Convened by the University of California, Santa Barbara, Penn State University, and
NIH Advanced Spatial Analysis Training Program (NICHD 5R-25 HD057002-04)

    Specialists will review challenges and new directions for spatial demography, identifying gaps in current knowledge regarding innovations in geospatial data, spatial statistical methods, and the integration of data and models to enhance the science of spatial demography in population and health research.

    Specific questions to be addressed include:

  • How are demographers measuring place and the interrelationships among places?
  • How can demographers harness emerging developments in the generation of geospatial data (e.g., volunteered geographic information and crowd-sourced data)?
  • How can new measures be validated for use in neighborhood and contextual research?
  • What visualization and spatial analytical methods make up the current tool kit of the spatial demographer? What new methodological developments in spatial analysis are possible in the next five years and how might these be integrated into mainstream demographic research?
  • What are the training challenges to the enhancement of future research in spatial demography?
  • What research priorities will best advance the applicability of spatial demography to address issues in reproductive health, population health, and other areas of societal need?


    Upham Hotel, 1404 De La Vina St.
    Santa Barbara
    California 93101


    Meeting: Monday, December 12 and Tuesday, December 13
    Travel days: Sunday, December 11 and Wednesday, December 14

Meeting Details


Accommodations & Travel

Participant List, Bios, and Position Papers

Workshop Final Report


Organizing Committee



Although spatial thinking and the use of new forms of geospatial data have grown rapidly in the social sciences, their implementation in the demographic sciences has lagged. This meeting will bring together specialists from demographic and health research, spatial statistics, and GIScience to discuss challenges and new directions for spatial demography. The objective will be to identify and define gaps in current knowledge regarding innovations in geospatial data and spatial statistical methods, including the integration of data and models. An overarching goal will be to prioritize a research agenda to enhance the science of spatial demography in population and health research.

Meeting Structure

This 2-day specialist meeting is organized by the Center for Spatial Studies (http://spatial.ucsb.edu) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the Population Research Institute (http://www.pop.psu.edu) at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU). The meeting will include invited plenary presentations by experts on the state of the science of spatial demography, emergent geospatial data and measurement issues, and spatial modeling. Smaller breakout sessions will facilitate intellectual exchange on the core conceptual, data-related, and methodological issues that arise from the plenary sessions.

Based on an open call for applications, approximately 30 researchers will be invited to participate in the meeting. The organizing committee is chaired by Michael F. Goodchild (UCSB), Donald Janelle (UCSB), and Stephen Matthews (PSU).

*NICHD 5R25 HD057002-04. See http://www.csiss.org/GISPopSci

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