Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Spatial patterns


What are spatial patterns? 
A spatial pattern is a perceptual structure, placement or arrangement of objects on Earth. It also includes the space in between those objects. Patterns maybe recognised because of their arrangement; maybe in a line or by a clustering of points.

Some questions that you may ask:
1) Is there an area that is more/less dense than others?
2) How do we calculate population density?
3) Are there clusters of objects?
4) Is there a randomness or a uniformity in the locations of various objects?

Spatial patterns usually refer to the patterns by which buildings have been arranged.

1) Is there an are that is more/less danse than others?
The answer is yes, there are areas that are mor dense than others. This may be due to the main function of a settlement, the way of life and the amenities that the settlement has.

More dense:

Less dense:

There are also areas of varying densities withim a country. For instance, China:

2) how do we calculate population density?
Simply divide the total number of people over the total land area.

3) are there clusters of objects?
We can classify settlements accordind to how the buildings are arranged. A settlement pattern shows how buildings are arranged in a settlement. There are three types of settlement patterns- dispersed, linear and nucleated.

Dispersed settlement patterns are made up of individual buildings scattered over a wide area. These buildings mat be separated by large open spaces, farmlands, forests or grasslands. Dispersed settlements are also found in hilly areas where it is difficult to build houses and cultivate crops. Thus, people tend to spread out to settle in the best places available. In addition, in places where natural resources or fertile soil is limited, large plots of land are needed to support each household. This ensures that there is enough land  for people to cultivate crops or to obtain resources from the ground. As a result, houses are dispersed.

 Linear settlements are located along main transport routes such as roads, railways, rivers and canals. Not only do these trasport routes make travelling easy, they may also serve as a source of livelihood for the people living nearby. For example, a fisherman may live alongside a river as rivers are a source of fish. As transport routes are usually arranged in a linear pattern, the settlements built alongside them naturally take on the same pattern.

Nucleated settlements are made up of buildings clustered together in an area. They are usually the meting point of transport routes, such as rivers, roads and railway lines.The buildings are clustered togetherso that the resources such as water and electricity can be shared. Sometimes, houses are clustered together as there is a shortage of flat land for the buildings to spread out. An example is a settlement locted within a valley that is surrounded by steep slopes.

4) is there a randomness or uniformity in the locations of various objects?
Refer to point number 3 :)


At February 4, 2012 at 1:22 AM , Blogger Vinitha J said...

I like the use of photographs with the aerial view to show the settlement patterns! -ms j

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