Order in space

Ron Johnston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


The 1960s saw a series of major changes in geographical practice in Britain, which interacted with similar changes in North America, where they started in the mid-1950s. To some, these constituted a 'conceptual revolution', creating a 'new geography'. Others argued that evolution better described the changes. Whether revolution or evolution, however, the changes were substantial. The 'revolution' comprised several interrelated components: a concern for scientific rigour; an argument that quantitative methods formed a necessary component of this more rigorous approach to the portrayal and analysis of geographic information; a claim that human geographers should focus on searching for spatial order in the patterning of human activities, rather than on definition of regions characterised by their uniqueness; a desire that human geographers' work should be applied to a wide range of 'real-world' problems. This chapter deals with geography, functional regions and spatial order as well as spatial pattern and spatial behaviour, spatial statistics and the epistemology of spatial analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Century of British Geography
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780191734076, 9780197262863
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2012


  • Britain
  • Epistemology
  • Functional regions
  • Geography
  • Spatial analysis
  • Spatial behaviour
  • Spatial order
  • Spatial pattern
  • Spatial statistics


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