Finding clusters of events is an important task in many spatial analyses. Both confirmatory and exploratory methods exist to accomplish this. Traditional statistical techniques are viewed as confirmatory, or observational, in that researchers are confirming an a priori hypothesis. These methods often fail when applied to newer types of data like moving object data and big data. Moving object data incorporates at least three parts: location, time, and attributes. This paper proposes an improved space-time clustering approach that relies on agglomerative hierarchical clustering to identify groupings in movement data. The approach, i.e., space–time hierarchical clustering, incorporates location, time, and attribute information to identify the groups across a nested structure reflective of a hierarchical interpretation of scale. Simulations are used to understand the effects of different parameters, and to compare against existing clustering methodologies. The approach successfully improves on traditional approaches by allowing flexibility to understand both the spatial and temporal components when applied to data. The method is applied to animal tracking data to identify clusters, or hotspots, of activity within the animal’s home range.
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