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Methods and Software: Spatial Statistics

Diagram of Methods and Software for Spatial Statistics Head-Bang Software SaTScan Software

Statistical methods and associated software tools have been developed for the statistical analysis and reporting of spatial and temporal patterns of cancer.

Head-Bang: Nonparametric Smoothing Software

"Head-banging" is a weighted two-dimensional median-based smoothing algorithm, developed to reveal underlying geographic patterns in data where the values to be smoothed do not have equal variances. See the Head-Bang Web site for more information.

ESTAT: Exploratory Spatial Temporal Analysis

The Exploratory Spatial Temporal Analysis (ESTAT) Tool, currently under development, will allow users to easily investigate the relationship between ecologic variables and cancer rates and trends.


The SaTScan Software analyzes spatial, temporal and space-time point data using a scan statistic. It is designed to:

  • evaluate reported spatial or space-time disease clusters to see if they are statistically significant,
  • test whether a disease is randomly distributed over space or over time or over space and time, and
  • perform geographical surveillance of disease in order to detect areas of significantly high or low rates.