Transdisciplinary Foundations of Geospatial Data Science

Date of Submission: 
December 5, 2017
Report Number: 
17-014
Report PDF: 
Abstract: 

Recent developments in data mining and machine learning approaches have brought lots of excitement in providing solutions for challenging tasks (e.g., computer vision). However, many approaches have limited interpretability, so their success and failure modes are difficult to understand and their scientific robustness is difficult to evaluate. Thus, there is an urgent need for better understanding of the scientific reasoning behind data mining and machine learning approaches. This requires taking a transdisciplinary view of data science and recognizing its foundations in mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Focusing on the geospatial domain, we apply this crucial transdisciplinary perspective to five common geospatial techniques (hotspot detection, colocation detection, prediction, outlier detection and teleconnection detection). We also describe challenges and opportunities for future advancement.