Hosted by WCNR GIS Seminar Series and Geospatial Centroid, Colorado State University


Map-ematically Messing with Maps: Extending Traditional Math/Stat to Grid-based Map Analysis and Modeling


Presentation by Joseph K. Berry


Adjunct Faculty in Geograpgy, University of Denver

Adjunct Faculty in Natural Resources, Colorado State University

Principal, Berry & Associates // Spatial Information Systems

Email:     Website:


This presentation describes the idea of spatialSTEM for teaching map analysis and modeling fundamentals within a mathematical/statistical context that resonates with science, technology, engineering and math/stat communities.  The premise is that “maps are numbers first, pictures later” and we do mathematical things to mapped data for insight and better understanding of spatial patterns and relationships within decision-making contexts …from Where is What graphical inventories to a Why, So What and What If problem solving environment.


This map-ematical approach focuses on analytical tools used in spatial reasoning by a non-GIS community instead of traditional “GIS mechanics” of data acquisition, storage, retrieval, query and display of map features directed toward GIS specialists.  The goal is to get the STEM communities to “think with maps” and infuse direct consideration of spatial patterns and relationships into their endeavors, as an alternative for spatially-aggregated math/stat procedures that assume uniform or random distribution in space.


Presentation Handout – abstract and a short list of online papers and other references for the concepts presented


Presentation PowerPoint – PowerPoint slide set with notes (8.5MB)


Background Reading


SpatialSTEM Has Deep Mathematical Roots  provides a conceptual framework for the map-ematical treatment of mapped data,

GeoWorld Beyond Mapping column, January 2012.  J.K. Berry.



Map-ematically Messing with Mapped Data  discusses the nature of grid-based mapped data and spatial analysis operations, GeoWorld Beyond Mapping column, February 2012.  J.K. Berry.


Painting by the Numbers outside the Traditional Statistics Box — discusses the nature of spatial statistics operations, GeoWorld Beyond Mapping column, March 2012.  J.K. Berry.


Note: an extensive table of URL links to further readings on the grid-based map analysis/modeling concepts, terminology, considerations and procedures described in this three-part series on spatialSTEM is posted at…


Beyond Mapping III, an online book containing Introduction, 28 Chapters and Epilog as a compilation of the popular Beyond Mapping columns published in GeoWorld magazine from 1996 through present, BASIS, Fort Collins, Colorado, 2010.  J.K. Berry.


jkbHeadShot_cropped_smDr. Berry is a leading consultant and educator in the application of GIS technology.  He is the principal of Berry and Associates // Spatial Information Systems (BASIS), consultants and software developers in geotechnology and the author of the "Beyond Mapping" column for GeoWorld magazine since 1989, several books and over 200 papers on GIS theory and applications.  He conducted basic research and taught courses in GIS for twelve years at Yale University's Graduate School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and is currently Adjunct Faculty member in Geosciences at the University of Denver and in Natural Resources at Colorado State University. 


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