STAMP: Spatial-temporal analysis of moving polygons

Colin Robertson, Trisalyn A. Nelson, Barry Boots, Michael A. Wulder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Research questions regarding temporal change in spatial patterns are increasingly common in geographical analysis. In this research, we explore and extend an approach to the spatial-temporal analysis of polygons that are spatially distinct and experience discrete changes though time. We present five new movement events for describing spatial processes: displacement, convergence, divergence, fragmentation and concentration. Spatial-temporal measures of events for size and direction are presented for two time periods, and multiple time periods. Size change metrics are based on area overlaps and a modified cone-based model is used for calculating polygon directional relationships. Quantitative directional measures are used to develop application specific metrics, such as an estimation of the concentration parameter for a von Mises distribution, and the directional rate of spread. The utility of the STAMP methods are demonstrated by a case study on the spread of a wildfire in northwestern Montana.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-227
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Geographical Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Events
  • Geocomputation
  • Polygons
  • Spatial pattern analysis
  • Spatial-temporal analysis
  • Spread

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


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