||This research focuses on the application of geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis methods to urban and regional development studies. GIS-based spatial modeling approaches have recently been used in examining regional development disparities and urban growth. Through the cases of Guangdong province and the city of Dongguan, the study employs a spatial-temporal, multiscale, and multimethodology approach in analyzing geographically referenced socioeconomic and remote sensing data. A general spatial data analysis framework is set through a study of regional development in China's Guangdong province and urban growth in the city of Dongguan. Three intensive spatial statistical analyses are carried out. First, the dissertation investigates the spatial dynamics of regional inequality through Markov chains and spatial Markov-chain analyses. In so doing, it addresses the effect of self-reinforcing agglomeration on regional disparities. Multilevel modeling is further employed to evaluate the relative importance of regional development mechanisms in Guangdong. Second, a spatial filtering perspective is employed for understanding the spatial effects on multiscalar characteristics of regional inequality in Guangdong. Spatial panel and space-time regression models are integrated to detail the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of underlying mechanisms behind regional inequality. Third, drawing upon a set of high-quality remote sensing data in the city of Dongguan, the dissertation analyzes the spatial-temporal dynamics and spatial determinants of urban growth in a rapid industrializing area. Through the application of landscape metrics, three types of urban growth, including infill, spontaneous, and edge expansion, are distinguished, addressing the diverse spatial patterns at different stages of urban growth. A spatial logistic approach is further developed to model the spatial variations of urban growth determinants within the Dongguan city. In short, the dissertation finds that regional inequality in the Guangdong province is sensitive to spatial scales, dependence, and the core-periphery structure therein. The evolution of inequality can hardly be simplified into either convergence or divergence trajectories. Furthermore, development mechanisms and urban growth determinants are apparently different in space and are sensitive to spatial hierarchies and regimes. Overall, through the application of GIS spatial modeling techniques, the dissertation has provided more valuable information about spatial effects on China's urban and regional development under economic transition and highlights the importance of taking into consideration spatial dimensions in urban and regional development studies.