Research information

General introduction to research interests:

Current projects :

Education, GIS and models

The impacts of the new market reforms in education, especially spatial variations in parental choice; use of (and potential for) GIS and models in education planning; geographical variations in examination performance; value-added performance indicators

Retail location planning

The use of GIS and models in store location research (and business generally); case studies include financial services, petrol stations, restaurants, car market, high street retailers, large format retailers; theoretical extensions to spatial interaction models; extensions to spatial interaction models based on applied research; cost-benefits of GIS and models in retailing; implications for store location research of new forms of distribution channel (internet, ATMs, home delivery etc); models of optimisation; models of mergers and acquisitions.

Retail saturation and provision

Research which examines the notion of retail saturation by analysing spatial variations in provision rates; case studies include UK and US grocery markets - now working on other European markets in grocery retailing and financial services; also rise of the discount sector and possible saturation in the future.


This is a relatively new technique in geography aimed at modelling the interdependencies between household attributes. This allows the estimation of a wide range of variables for every household in the study: age, sex, employment type, ethnicity, etc. From these distributions income can usually be estimated. This, in turn, allows the modelling of household interactions (can be integrated with spatial interaction models) for journies to work, school, GP, hospital, shops etc. In addition to income new household variables can also be calculated, such as household tax, family allowance, rates, rents, benefits etc. Major applications include:

  1. Small-area estimations of the impact of major job loss/gains
  2. Estimation of the geography of tax and benefits: allows the impacts of social policy change to be estimated
  3. More powerful estimations of income and wealth (esp in US)

Each of these application areas are on-going projects.

Geography and health

Interest in any area of health inequalities. In particular, spatial clustering of diseases; variations in hospital referral rates (and hence hospitalisation rates themselves); variations in the take-up of breastfeeding (current Dept of health project); health and deprivation; geography (or spatial impacts) of market reforms in health care; use of GIS and models in health care planning.


The geography of model-based performance indicators which measure how well served residents are for various types of jobs and services. Also, how well facilities serve their catchment areas (planned catchment areas and real catchment areas); other methodologies for estimating urban and rural deprivation.

Grants Awarded

Research Councils:
£8250 E.S.R.C. - 'Applied GIS Seminar Series' 1992-93
£40000 E.S.R.C (with prof Openshaw) 'Optimal zones for the 2001 census' 1999-2000
£24000 E.S.R.C/Sainsbury (with Prof N. Wrigley, Southampton) 'Food Deserts' 2000-2002
£48000 M.R.C. (with Janet Cade, Joan Ransley, £500000), Diet and Nutrition Survey 2006-2008

Other Government Grants
£750 British Council 'Building links with USS, Malaysia' 1996
£3500 Department of Health 'GIS and breastfeeding' 1998-2001
£32000 Home Office (with L.See) 'Families of basic crime units' 1999-2000
£36000 TEAGASC (Eire) 'A microsimulation model of rural Ireland' 2000-2001
£2750 Home Office (with L.See) 'Extensions of family groups' 2001
£10000 Leeds Crime Reduction partnership 'Crime in Leeds' 2001
£15000 Doncaster Social Services 'A GIS for services for the elderly' 2001
£8500 Derbyshire Police (with L.See, A.Evans) 'Internal resourcing models for Derbyshire' 2001
£15000 Yorkshire Police (with Mark Birkin) 'Visual audits across West Yorkshire' 2002
£8500 West Yorkshire Fire Service 'Monitoring the geography of arson in Leeds' 2004-5
£10000 Leeds Crime Reduction partnership 'Crime in Leeds' 2004

£75000 Joseph Rowntree Foundation (with Prof Dorling) 'SIMYORK & SIMBRITAIN' 2001-2002

Private Sector
£58000 Yorkshire Water - 'Small area estimation of water consumption' (with prof. MacDonald) 1991-5 (1st phase)
£1500 Association of Geographic Information 1993 'Applied GIS seminars'
£6500 Politecnico di Torino 1992-94 'Performance indicator modelling'
£50000 Yorkshire Water - 'Small area estimation of water consumption' (with prof. MacDonald) 1995-6 (2nd phase)
£2000 Fulcrum TV (with L.See) 'Crime pattern league table analysis' 2000
£215000 British Telecom (with D.Dorling) 'SIMYORK & SIMBRITAIN and their potential for the geography of telecommunications' 2001-2003
£25000 Secta (with M.Birkin) 'Health care models for Leeds' 2001-2002
£6000 Yorkshire TV (with M.Birkin) 'Impact of YTV in the region' 2002v £65000 David Simmonds Consultancy 'Land-use transport micro models' 2004-2005

Grants for Distance Learning Courses in GIS:
£96000 EU European Social Fund 'Distance Learning & Training for SMEs' 1999-2000
£500000 eUniversity for development of on-line masters in GIS course 2003-2005

Previous projects :



Conferences and meetings organised :

Research groups :

Current Research students :

Gemma Hobson
John Lennon
Karyn Morrissey
Kim Proctor
Dianne Smith
Melanie Tomintz

PhD Students (completed and gaining PhD award since 2001) :

Robert Langley 'GIS and spatial modelling for education' 1997

Heather Eyre (with Prof Rees) 'More realistic variables in spatial interaction models' 1998

Covadonga Escandon (with Prof McDonald) 'A network model for water transfers' 1999

Young-Hoon Kim (with Prof Openshaw) 'Intelligent location optimisations in GIS environments' 2000

Dimitris Ballas 'Microsimulation for policy analysis' 2001

Rachel Poole (with D.Clarke) 'Saturation, competition in European Food retailing' 2002

Lee Douglas 'Optimising spatial mergers' 2002

James Debenham (with John Stillwell) 'Extending geodemographics with supply-side variables' 2003

Bokwan Kim (with Andy Evans) 'CA models for simulating new city growth' 2005

Charatdao Kongmuang (with Andy Evans) 'Modelling crime: a spatial microsimulation approach' 2006

Peter Shepherd (with John Stillwell) 'Geodemographics for crime analysis' 2006

Research plans :