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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science (CSISS) was founded in 1999 with support from the National Science Foundation under its program to promote research infrastructure in the social and behavioral sciences. CSISS programs (1999–2013) recognized the growing significance of space, spatiality, location, and place in social science research.

The CSISS commitment to education included an extensive training program of 36 week-long residential workshops in GIS, spatial econometrics, cartographic visualization, remote sensing, agent modeling, and spatial demographics. In addition, 11 week-long workshops focused on the introduction of spatial thinking for undergraduate social science courses. These programs attracted more than 1,100 participants over the period June 2000 and August 2011. Workshops were supplemented with web-based learning resources, best practice publications, and the development of spatial analytic software.

Cover page of Spatial Social Science--for Research, Teaching, Application, and Policy

Spatial Social Science--for Research, Teaching, Application, and Policy


Spatial Social Science recognizes the key role that spatial concepts, such as distance, location, proximity, neighborhood, and region play in human society; promotes research that advances the understanding of spatial patterns and processes; and invokes powerful principles of spatial thinking.

Cover page of Spatially Integrated Social Science

Spatially Integrated Social Science


This document contains the chapter abstracts for the book—each chapter  illustrating how the spatial perspective adds value and insight to social science research, beyond what traditional non-spatial approaches might reveal.  The 21 chapters exemplify the founding principle for the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science (CSISS)—that the analysis of social phenomena in space and time enhances our understanding of social processes. The chapters offer substantive empirical content for illustrating the interpretation of specific spatial analytic approaches suited to advanced research in the social sciences and recognizing the importance of location, space,  spatiality, and place.

Cover page of Tobler's FlowMapper

Tobler's FlowMapper


Geographical movement is of crucial importance. This is because much change in the world is due to movement; the movement of people, ideas, money, or material. One way of depicting and analyzing geographical movement is by way of geographical maps. In 2003 CSISS supported an effort to produce an interactive flow mapping program. The result is an updated Windows-based version of a program originally designed and programmed by Waldo Tobler in 1987. Tobler's original application was updated by David Jones using Microsoft Visual Basic.Net and SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphics) for map rendering. It requires as input locational coordinates and a table of interaction between places, place names,  and a file of boundary coordinates. The program allows for the production of a total movement map shown by volume-scaled bands, net movement given by scaled arrows, or simultaneous two-way moves. This FlowMapper document also includes a set of papers by Waldo Tobler:

FlowMapper Tutorials—p. 9

Movement Mapping—p. 104

On Viewing Flow Maps—p. 111

Optimal Parsing of Large Arrays—p. 124

Experiments in Migration Mapping by Computer—p. 128.

Cover page of GIS Cookbook

GIS Cookbook


The GIS Cookbook is a collection of simple descriptions and illustrations of GIS methods written with minimal GIS jargon. Recipes cover two GIS software platforms, ArcView 3.x and ArcGIS 8/9.x. The target users are social scientists with an interest in introducing spatial thinking into their current research and also having some experience with computers but little to no exposure to GIS. The GIS Cookbook was prepared in 2002–2005 to serve the expanding community of social scientists wanting to apply GIS for research and teaching. This archival resource is intended for historical documentaion.

Those interested in learning basic applications of GIS, geographical mapping, and spatial analysis are advised to seek more recent tutorials based on newer software advances and web-based mapping tools.

Users of the CSISS GIS Cookbook may wish to download the full documentation to allow for internal links from the Table of Contents.

NCGIA Core Curricula in GIS/GIScience are available at