New technologies and multilevel data sets that include geographic identifiers have heightened sociologists' interest in spatial analysis. I review several of the key concepts, measures, and methods that are brought into play in this work and offer examples of their application in a variety of substantive fields. I argue that the most effective use of the new tools requires greater emphasis on spatial thinking. A device as simple as an illustrative map requires some understanding of how people respond to visual cues; models as complex as hierarchical linear modeling with spatial lags require thoughtful measurement decisions and raise questions about what a spatial effect represents.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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