I am interested in applying this methodology to census block data after conversion from a raster:
Basically, the steps are:
- Calculate the average distance between polygon centroids - Average Nearest Neighbor tool in Spatial Analyst
- Convert Features to Raster
- Smooth the outputting raster data by applying the focal statistics tool using the radius calculated in the Average Nearest Neighbor tool.
It seems that, although this may make sense intuitively, because sharp transitions in population count or housing units don't always occur, they may occur sometimes. Though the result is 'nicer to look at', in that it's more a heat map than a rigid rasterized layer, is this workflow statistically defensible? What tests (other than the simple one provided in the article) could you run to test out the smoothed result?