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Open AccessArticle

A Novel Analysis Method of Geographical Centrality Based on Space of Flows

1,†, 1,† and 1,2,*
School of Resource and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Systems, Ministry Education, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this paper.
Academic Editor: Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(5), 153;
Received: 12 February 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 17 May 2017
PDF [4863 KB, uploaded 17 May 2017]


Geographical centrality is an evolving concept that differs from one perspective to another at different stages. The unprecedented development of high-speed information and transportation networks has highlighted the important role of space of flows and has restructured the mode of spatial interaction. The geographical centrality analysis method based on relational networks currently becomes the mainstream, but most related methods ignore the spatial structure. In this study, we first analyze the impacts of space of flows on geographical space based on spatial interaction theory. We argue that geographical space and space of flows dominate short- and long-distance interactions, respectively. Based on this hypothesis, the concept of geographical centrality based on space of flows is proposed. The new concept categorizes spatial units into four types: global centers, isolated units, externally oriented units, and locally oriented units. Then, two quantitative measures, namely, global and local geographical centrality indexes, are defined. In the case study, we analyze the geographical centrality of cities in China at three different spatial scales and compare the result with three other geographical centrality analysis methods. City attribute is concluded to be more important than spatial distance in urban spatial interaction at the national scale, and this situation is caused by the effect of space of flows on geographical space. The similarities and differences between the proposed geographical centrality analysis method and the classic spatial autocorrelation analysis method of Moran’s I are also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: centrality; space of flows; geographical space; spatial autocorrelation; China centrality; space of flows; geographical space; spatial autocorrelation; China

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Li, J.; Qian, J.; Liu, Y. A Novel Analysis Method of Geographical Centrality Based on Space of Flows. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 153.

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