U.S. Department of Commerce


Date of this Version



Published in Environ Ecol Stat (2008) 15:3–13.


Classical sampling methods can be used to estimate the mean of a finite or infinite population. Block kriging also estimates the mean, but of an infinite population in a continuous spatial domain. In this paper, I consider a finite population version of block kriging (FPBK) for plot-based sampling. The data are assumed to come from a spatial stochastic process. Minimizing mean-squared-prediction errors yields best linear unbiased predictions that are a finite population version of block kriging. FPBK has versions comparable to simple random sampling and stratified sampling, and includes the general linear model. This method has been tested for several years for moose surveys in Alaska, and an example is given where results are compared to stratified random sampling. In general, assuming a spatial model gives three main advantages over classical sampling: (1) FPBK is usually more precise than simple or stratified random sampling, (2) FPBK allows small area estimation, and (3) FPBK allows nonrandom sampling designs.