Today, the term geostatistics can be heard used more and more frequently in certain professional sectors. What is geostatistics, and what makes this concept so important in certain industries? Follow along for the quick scoop.
Geostatistics: The Basics
Combining two sciences – geography and statistics – geostatistics is the science of applying statistics to geographic areas to classify, analyze, and predict info as needed in those particular areas. Today, this science is utilized in many areas and individual professions, but originally, it was designed strictly as a way to predict resources that could be found in mining operations. Once the value of assigning statistical values to geographic areas was more largely understood, this concept spread rapidly to other sectors of use. While the list of industries that now rely on geostatistics is quite large and growing, the following areas of use can begin to give one some idea of the vast reach of this science’s impact.
Modern agriculture relies a great deal on geostatistics. Nearly all, large and medium-scale farming and agriculture operations now operate using various geostatistical wares. Whether via GPS use while working large plots of land or through digital mapping analysis for determining how to first layout the grow areas on a particular plot of land, this industry’s reliance on geostatistics has become very strong.
Epidemiology is an important study of how diseases and health disorders spread in and affect populations. There are many components to this critical study field, and according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, some of the components scientists must actively track and study here include incidence rates, prevalence rates, disease costs, disease burden, and many others. Quite fittingly, geostatistics fills the need of this sector to use statistics to deeply study entire regions.
Petroleum Geology Uses
Petroleum geography is the study of the incidence of hydrocarbon fuels that lie unseen in and across the Earth. This study uses geostatistics quite closely to the way it was originally designed for use in locating and studying mineral deposit incidence for the mining industry. By using a whole arsenal of geostatistical concepts, the petroleum geography sector can narrowly target their efforts like never before and thus save untold sums of funding and work in waste, more blind efforts otherwise.
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GIS, or geographic information systems are almost synonymous with the science of geostatistics. These systems are those that provide the modern world with GPS, digital geospatial capabilities, interactive maps and geography systems, and more. From here, a wide variety of other organizations and professions, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can utilize GIS for use in work that is sometimes even life-saving.
There can be an amazing amount of information associated with any one particular geographic area. Geostatistics is the science that can organize and then put to use that type of geographic info. Without geostatistics today, our technologically-advanced world would be very different from what it is as we know it now.
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