Friday, September 18, 2015

Free PASSaGE Software is Useful for Spatial Analysis

Michael Rosenberg and Corey Anderson from Arizona State University wrote an article for the Methods in Ecology and Evolution journal in 2011. Their article consists of an analysis about PASSaGE or the software for Pattern Analysis, Spatial Statistics and Geographic Exegesis. This tool is used for retrieving spatial stats. The software is free and easy to use and has been updated over the years. This is important to Rosenberg and Anderson as spatial analysis is not currently focused on in current GIS software. The PASSaGE program was created so that everyone could have access to the tools. Both PASSaGE’s (PASSaGE and PASSaGE 2) have been used in scientific research and in classrooms in order to help students and researchers better understand the data they are receiving. The PASSaGE program is comparable to other spatial tools currently available such as ArcGIS. The data for PASSaGE can be projected in one, two, or three dimensions. Rosenberg and Anderson then go on to describe the interface, graphics, and availability associated with PASSaGE. The interface was designed for Windows specifically though there have been versions made to run on Linux and Mac. The graphics are strong and PASSaGE 2 contains a graphical editor. The authors also discuss how data is input and extracted from the program. Data is able to be implemented into the program using shapefiles, spreadsheets, and text files. The authors conclude by saying that the PASSaGE software is important as it allows anyone to have free access to geographic analysis using spatial statistics.

This is an example of the graphical output produced by the second PASSaGE software package. In this graph a surface map with elevation data is shown. The color gradient scale is presented alongside it in order to help the viewer understand the graph. The numbers are in increments of 5 on the y axis, and increments of 10 on the x axis. The color scale is presented in increments of 1,000. This is only one demonstration of the major classes of methods, the creation method, present inside the PASSaGE software.

Rosenberg, M. S., & Anderson, C. D. (2011). PASSaGE: pattern analysis, spatial statistics and geographic exegesis. Version 2. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2(3), 229-232.


  1. What kind of information would PASSaGE be used to represent?

    1. Pattern Analysis, Spatial Statistics and Geographic Exegesis, through PASSaGE, will find ecological, evolutionary and environmental science, epidemiology, geology, geography, and mathematics data. This is used in research and for education.

  2. That's cool that you can do GIS without having to buy an expensive package like ArcGIS. I would bet that is really useful as an educational tool in Geography classes and many other classes for middle schoolers and high schoolers