Interactive teaching tools for spatial sampling

Bowman, A.W. , Gibson, I., Scott, E.M. and Crawford, E. (2010) Interactive teaching tools for spatial sampling. Journal of Statistical Software, 36(13),

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The statistical analysis of data which is measured over a spatial region is well established as a scientic tool which makes considerable contributions to a wide variety of application areas. Further development of these tools also remains a central part of the research scene in statistics. However, understanding of the concepts involved often benets from an intuitive and experimental approach, as well as a formal description of models and methods. This paper describes software which is intended to assist in this understanding. The role of simulation is advocated, in order to explain the meaning of spatial correlation and to interpret the parameters involved in standard models. Realistic scenarios where decisions on the locations of sampling points in a spatial setting are required are also described. Students are provided with a variety of sampling strategies and invited to select the most appropriate one in two dierent settings. One involves water sampling in the lagoon of the Mururoa Atoll while the other involves sea bed sampling in a Scottish rth. Once a student has decided on a sampling strategy, simulated data are provided for further analysis. This extends the range of teaching activity from the analysis of data collected by others to involvement in data collection and the need to grapple with issues of design. It is argued that this approach has signicant benets in learning. The software which implements these tools is built on existing R packages, using rpanel controls for the geoR geostatistical simulation and modelling tools. The operation and construction of the software are described in detail. The software is made available as additional functions rp.geosim, rp.mururoa and rp.firth in the rpanel package.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scott, Professor Marian and Crawford, Dr Ewan and Bowman, Prof Adrian
Authors: Bowman, A.W., Gibson, I., Scott, E.M., and Crawford, E.
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Statistics
Journal Name:Journal of Statistical Software
Published Online:02 March 2010

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