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Comparison of methods for addressing the point-to-area data transformation to make data suitable for environmental, health and socio-economic studies

Meng, Yuting; Cave, Mark; Zhang, Chaosheng. 2019 Comparison of methods for addressing the point-to-area data transformation to make data suitable for environmental, health and socio-economic studies. Science of The Total Environment, 689. 797-807. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.452

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Abstract/Summary

Soil lead (Pb) provides an important exposure pathway to the human body through soil ingestion and dust inhalation and is closely associated with human health as well as social behaviour. The challenge of transforming different spatial supports arises when linking point data (Pb concentration) to areal data (health status or social behaviour). A detailed review of methodologies for integrating point and areal data has been carried out. Among a number of methodologies, eight methods: (1) average, (2) median, (3) centroids inverse distance weighted (IDW), (4) average block IDW, (5) median block IDW, (6) centroids ordinary kriging (OK), (7) average block OK and (8) median block OK, have been compared using Pb data set in the Greater London Authority (GLA) area. The results indicated that the method of median block IDW was recommended for further investigation of the relationship between Pb concentration and socio-economic factors in the ward-level of the GLA area. The reasons were (i) spatial interpolations were useful for predicting unobserved values when simple average and median could not work in the locations where there were no samples collected in some areal units; (ii) the median value was more suitable than the average value for a skewed data set; (iii) the block method reduced estimation error and provided more representative values of areal units than the centroid method; (iv) IDW reserved more spatial variation than OK, containing more local maxima (hotspot) and local minima. Despite that it is still hard to decide the optimal method, this study has highlighted the point-to-area transformation issue and provided valuable examples to compare the different methods.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.452
ISSN: 00489697
Date made live: 14 Oct 2019 13:17 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/525388

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