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Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) woes

Question asked by theidahoguy on May 7, 2010
Latest reply on Nov 30, 2013 by cpbride
Hello forum community,

I am a graduate student charged with the task of exploring the potentiality of predicting archaeological "site" or more accurately artifact location based off of an existing archaeological site database as my thesis exercise.  The task is to attempt to find any correlational relationships between the existing site location dependent variable and environmental indpendent variables.  I have looked into various different logistic, multivariate, regression models but have been reading up on the relatively recently released tools of OLS and GWR in the Spatial Statistics toolbox.  Needless to say I have begun working with the data using these regression tools but am quickly feeling a bit overwhelmed and fear spending a significant amount of time towards a goal that may not even be possible with this method. 

I have watched the free web seminar a couple of times, have read;

The ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, Volume 2
Mitchell, Andy. ESRI Press, 2005.
Geographically Weighted Regression: the analysis of spatially varying relationships
Fotheringham, Stewart A., Chris Brunsdon, and Martin Charlton. John Wiley & Sons, 2002.

And thought I was making progress however I am finding very little R-squared "goodness of fit" value in every attempt of analysis and am feeling as though I am spinning circles.  This forum was suggested to me by the regional ESRI tech support as she too admitted as to knowing very little about the application.  I have looked into attending an ESRI class "Performing Analysis with ArcGIS Desktop" which was suggested again after the webinar but before pulling the trigger on spending that kind of scratch I am hoping someone can shed some light as to whether I am barking up the wrong tree? 

Could OLS and GWR successfully analyze the relationship between environmental (and perhaps other explanatory systemic behavioral) variables and archaelogical artifact locations?  I vaguely recall in perhaps the webinar or perhaps Mitchell's chapter regarding this material the potentiality of success but again after early attempts just want to make sure before continuing the pursuit.  I love the theory behind using local statistics to assess relationships on the dependent variable and the ability to formulate a model which can be later used to help predict unknown areas but at least with my own study have hit the preverbial wall. 

Can anyone help?

Thanks- aspiring graduate school graduate