The Learner's Guide to Geospatial Analysis

Memory Aid


The following actions help the analyst to develop evidence.

Action 1: Make a list of the significant evidence.

Action 2: Acquire or develop missing evidence. The recognition, collection, development, and effective presentation of evidence is essential to successful analysis. Use GIS and remote sensing tools to develop evidence in support your analysis.

Action 3: Describe the evidence. Does this occur in life, physical, or intellectual space? What does the evidence teach about the fundamental spatial questions of where, what, and how objects are linked? What are the important spatial qualities and relationships?

Action 4: Evaluate the evidence. Evaluate:

  • Credibility - Trustworthy source, author’s credentials, evidence of quality control, known or respected authority, organizational support.
  • Accuracy - Lineage, positional accuracy, attribute accuracy, logical consistency, temporal quality, and resolution.
  • Reasonableness - Fair, balanced, objective, reasoned, no conflict of interest, absence of fallacies or slanted tone.
  • Support - Listed sources, contact information, available corroboration, claims supported, documentation supplied.

Action 5: Check for significant missing evidence. Ask yourself for each hypothesis: If this hypothesis is true, what are all the spatial qualities and relationships that must have happened and what evidence of this should I expect to see? Then ask: If I am not seeing this evidence, why not? Is it because it is not happening, it is being concealed, or because I have not looked for it? Include as evidence the absence of things you would expect to see if a hypothesis were true.

Action 6: Check for deception. If you are uncertain whether an item of evidence is deceptive, enter that evidence twice, once with the assumption that it is not deceptive, and once with the assumption that it is deceptive.