The Measurement of Association in Industrial Geography

The Measurement of Association in Industrial Geography

The Measurement of Association in Industrial Geography

The Measurement of Association in Industrial Geography

Excerpt

This study arose out of a profound belief that geographic science can contribute significantly to the store of human knowledge, and that those contributions will appear primarily because of the geographer's use of an areal frame of reference. The phenomena of geography are common property shared by many fields of knowledge, but the geographer is almost unique in his attempts to gain an understanding of those phenomena by relating them to the areas of earth-space in which they occur. We believe that judicious use of this type of analysis can lead to important advances in human knowledge, especially if it can be implemented with some of the methods and techniques of modern science. The present volume is a report of progress in some of these early explorations that were prompted by this line of reasoning. Most of the work has been frankly exploratory and the findings are somewhat tentative; but if they can serve as a basis for further developments in the methodology of geographic science, the effort will have been worth-while.

A considerable portion of this study is devoted to a consideration of the applicability of certain statistical techniques to problems employing an areal frame of reference. In the selection and application of those techniques we have been guided solely by standard textbooks in statistics and accepted practices among research students in the social sciences. We are conscious of deficiencies in many of these approaches and believe that the field of geography would benefit greatly if they were subjected to additional study from the viewpoint of modern mathematics and statistical theory. Those topics, however, are beyond the scope of the present undertaking.

Selection of industrial geography, and of the machinery industries in particular, as the field for application of these techniques was prompted mainly by the acknowledged difficulty of conducting broad analytical studies in this area. The approach employed is frankly designed to make best use of the types of data that are available rather than to supplement and amplify existing bodies of theory. As a consequence, the findings undoubtedly will seem vague and inconclusive to many of our readers. In rebuttal, we can only say that the findings constitute true descriptions of geographic realities and that they are of a type that can provide a firm . . .

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