, Volume 69, Issue 1-2, pp 1-8
Date: 20 Sep 2007

Towards settlement science: a research agenda for urban geography

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Introduction

Originally presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (held in Chicago, Illinois, in March of 2006), this collection of papers addresses issues of human population distribution, specifically the use of new science and technology applications to geolocate precisely where human beings are on the surface of our planet. Ranging from metrics to measure error in global population datasets, to the delicate job of defining neighborhood boundaries both socially and spatially, to the technique of merging census and biophysical data to yield a composite vulnerability map for a hazard-prone area, these articles showcase the growing power of geographic information systems combined with satellite imagery resources to provide a far fuller representation of where we are.

All the papers take as their premise the necessity of going “below” the national level in data specificity to examine conditions closer to the ground. This has the effect of moving the scienc ...