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In wireless sensor networks, it is already noted that nearby sensor nodes monitoring an environmental feature typically register similar values. This kind of data redundancy due to the spatial correlation between sensor observations inspires the research of in-network data aggregation. In this paper, an α -local spatial clustering algorithm for sensor networks is proposed. By measuring the spatial correlation between data sampled by different sensors, the algorithm constructs a dominating set as the sensor network backbone used to realize the data aggregation based on the information description/summarization performance of the dominators. In order to evaluate the performance of the algorithm a pattern recognition scenario over environmental data is presented. The evaluation shows that the resulting network achieved by our algorithm can provide environmental information at higher accuracy compared to other algorithms.