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Spatial Autocorrelation

Question asked by skvoeller on Feb 12, 2016
Latest reply on Feb 12, 2016 by skvoeller

I have samples of individuals from various areas in South and Central America (12 samples, so 12 locations).  Each sample has a different number of individuals with a measurement assigned to them.  Each sample also has somewhere between 4-40 individuals.  So there are coincident data at each location.   

I would like to see if there is spatial autocorrelation (clustering/dispersion) among the samples taking into account this measurement.  I am using the Spatial Autocorrelation Moran's 1 tool.  Having done something similar to this before, I felt each location could only have one value.  In the past (using geostatistical analyst), it would just average the values at each location.  So I went ahead and did that myself.  Thus I had 12 locations, each with one data point.  I ran the spatial autocorrelation tool, and there was nothing significant.   

I am doing it again without averaging the samples.  Thus each location as between 4-40 data points.  After running the tool again, it finds significant clustering.  However, if there are 12 locations with a ton of data points, I feel this is due to sampleing bias.  Is that right? 

Any suggestions on the best way to do this?