Multidimensional scaling

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Multidimensional scaling

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Multidimensional scaling (MDS) is the general term given to the problem of reconstructing locations from knowledge of proximities. Tobler and Wineberg (1971) provided an excellent example in which the unknown locations of 33 ancient pre-Hittite settlements in Cappadocia were inferred from knowledge of their interactions with other settlements whose locations were known, based on the assumption that interaction declined systematically with distance (see further, Section 4.4.5, Distance decay models). Scaling techniques have been used to create a wide range of specialized maps, including maps on which distances reflect travel times rather than actual distances, or the similarity of the species found in each place, or the perceptions of relative proximities in the minds of local residents (Golledge and Rushton, 1972).