Scale Problems in Geographic Research.
Final technical rept.,
DENVER UNIV COLO DEPT OF GEOGRAPHY
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Considerations of scale underlie geographical study in all of its aspects. It is only slightly less in scope, in this respect, than the whole of the discipline. Reductionism in geography is necessary because of the great size of the earth, its numerous geographical elements, and the broad scope of geography. This scale of reality 11 must be reduced in order to study the areal variation of geography. Both perception and conceptualization have important scale implications. Geographers must frequently devise their own scales and must assure that they measure what they are said to measure. In geography, scale means measurement and, more specifically, the preciseness of measurement. Generalization and measurement must be differentiated in geography. Generalization belongs to hypothesis and theory measurement belongs to empirical observation and the real world. Geographers have accepted scale as inherent to the profession but possibly have not regarded it commensurately with its true significance. Most geographic research is being conducted at small scales 63 while only eight percent is at large scale. Thematic and special purpose mapping have deep scale considerations which are principally lodged in conceptualization, centered around the use of areal data as point data. The two principal scale applications, the reduction of area and the measurement of geographical associations and variations, require further specific and detailed study and research. Author
- Cartography and Aerial Photography