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This website is preserved as an Archive for the NSF-funded
SPACE program (2003-2007).
Current resources in support of
Spatially Integrated Social Science
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CSISS Classics

 The foundations of spatial analysis span many disciplines over many generations of researchers and practitioners. CSISS Classics provides summaries and illustrations of major contributions to spatial thinking in the social sciences. Primary emphasis is given to research before 1980, with an attempt to capture and acknowledge the repository of spatial thinking in the social sciences for the last few centuries. The summaries, along with key references, are intended as guides for those interested in exploring intellectual inheritance from previous generations.

Your help is requested in suggesting topics, key papers, and schools of thought that should be represented in this collection - please send these to the CSISS Classics editor, Don Janelle

Copyright permission has been requested and is still pending on some images used in the CSISS Classics.


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Charles Booth

Title: Mapping London's Poverty, 1885–1903
Spatial Concept: Mapping and social surveys, neighborhood effects
Discipline: Criminology, Demography, Geography, History, Law & Society, Political Science, Sociology, Urban & Regional Planning, Urban Studies

Walter Christaller

Title: Hierarchical Patterns of Urbanization
Spatial Concept: Regions, hierarchy, distribution
Discipline: Area Studies, Economics, Geography, Regional Science, Urban & Regional Planning

Grady Clay

Title: The Reading of the American City, 1973.
Spatial Concept: Spatial metaphors for interpreting landscape change
Discipline: Urban & Regional Planning, Urban Studies

Alice Coleman

Title: Design Disadvantagement, 1985
Spatial Concept: Built-environment–behavior relationships
Discipline: Criminology, Urban & Regional Planning, Urban Studies

Patrick Doreian

Title: Modeling Sociological Processes Using Spatially Distributed Data
Spatial Concept: spatial autocorrelation, regressive-autoregressive modeling
Discipline: Sociology, Statistics

Constantinos Doxiadis

Title: Ekistics, 1968
Spatial Concept: Scale consideration in settlement systems design
Discipline: Urban & Regional Planning, Urban Studies, Other

Vernor C. Finch

Title: The "Fractional Code" for Land Use Mapping, 1933.
Spatial Concept: Multi-variable mapping and land use classification
Discipline: Area Studies, Environmental Studies & Policy, Geography

Leonhard Ludwig Finke

Title: Leonhard Ludwig Finke: Medical Geography
Spatial Concept: Global perspective
Discipline: Geography, Public Health

Robert W. Fogel

Title: The Argument for Wagons and Canals, 1964.
Spatial Concept: Distance buffers, Spatial econometrics
Discipline: Economics, History, Regional Science

Joel Garreau

Title: Edge Cities and the Nine Nations of North America
Spatial Concept: Regionalization and regional synthesis of change
Discipline: Area Studies, Demography, Geography, Regional Science, Sociology, Urban & Regional Planning, Urban Studies

Peter Gould and Waldo Tobler

Title: An Experiment in Geo-Coding
Spatial Concept: Place-based search, geo-coding, geographical coordinates
Discipline: Communication Studies, Geography

Zvi Griliches

Title: The Diffusion of Hybrid Corn Technology, 1957
Spatial Concept: Innovation diffusion, Spatial diffusion, Logistic growth processes
Discipline: Economics, Regional Science

Edward T. Hall

Title: Proxemic Theory, 1966
Spatial Concept: Proxemic Theory, Social distance, Personal space, Spatial perception
Discipline: Anthropology & Archaeology, Communication Studies, Linguistics

Torsten Hägerstrand

Title: Time Geography.
Spatial Concept: Spatio-temporal constraints on human activity patterns and individual space-time paths
Discipline: Geography, Regional Science, Urban & Regional Planning

Mark Jefferson

Title: "Civilizing Rails," 1928.
Spatial Concept: Buffer zone, Catchment areas, Zones of impact
Discipline: Geography

Florence Kelley

Title: Slums of the Great Cities Survey Maps, 1893
Spatial Concept: Pattern analysis mapping of social conditions, maps for social advocacy
Discipline: Demography, Public Health, Sociology, Urban Studies, Womens Studies

Valdimer Orlando Key

Title: Mapping Southern Politics, 1949
Spatial Concept: Electoral geography, spatial redistricting, ecological inference
Discipline: Demography, History, Political Science

Hans Kurath

Title: Linguistic Atlas of the United States
Spatial Concept: Geographical linguistics, Isogloss mapping, Speech areas and speech boundaries
Discipline: Anthropology & Archaeology, Area Studies, Linguistics

Colin Loftin and Sally K. Ward

Title: Application of Spatial Autocorrelation in Sociology
Spatial Concept: Spatial autocorrelation, spatial processes, neighborhood effects, scale dependency, weighting methods, spatial interaction
Discipline: Demography, Public Health, Sociology, Statistics

Kevin Lynch

Title: City Elements Create Images in Our Mind, 1960
Spatial Concept: Place legibility, spatial imageability, cognition of urban built environment, mental maps
Discipline: Geography, Regional Science, Urban & Regional Planning, Urban Studies, Other

Bronislaw Malinowski

Title: Identifying the Kula Ring of the Trobriand Islanders: The Role of Ethnographic Field Observation in Pattern Recognition
Spatial Concept: Distance and social interaction, pattern recognition
Discipline: Anthropology & Archaeology, Area Studies

Henry Mayhew

Title: London Labour and the London Poor, 1861
Spatial Concept: Choropleth mapping, Ecological relationship
Discipline: Criminology, Sociology, Other

Ian McHarg

Title: Overlay Maps and the Evaluation of Social and Environmental Costs of Land Use Change
Spatial Concept: Overlay mapping, Multi-criteria route selection
Discipline: Environmental Studies & Policy, Urban & Regional Planning

Melinda S. Meade

Title: Medical Geography and Human Ecology, 1977
Spatial Concept: Cultural ecology, Population movement, Spatial patterns of disease
Discipline: Environmental Studies & Policy, Geography, Public Health

Richard Meier

Title: Communications Theory of Urban Growth, 1961
Spatial Concept: Spatial agglomeration, spatial interaction, urban centrality
Discipline: Communication Studies, Sociology, Urban Studies

Charles Joseph Minard

Title: Mapping Napoleon's March, 1861
Spatial Concept: Flow map, thematic mapping
Discipline: History, Statistics

Robert Park and Ernest Burgess

Title: Urban Ecology Studies, 1925
Spatial Concept: Urban Ecology, spatial differentiation, concentric zone theory
Discipline: Sociology, Urban & Regional Planning, Urban Studies

Pablo Picasso

Title: Cubism—A Revolution of Spatial Presentation in Artistic Expression (with parallels in cartography)
Spatial Concept: Multiple Perspectives in Two-Dimensional Visualization
Discipline: History, Other

Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy)

Title: Representation, Understanding, and Mathematical Labeling of the Spherical Earth
Spatial Concept: Equal Area Projection, Longitude and Latitude, Sperical Earth Representation
Discipline: Geography, History

Friedrich Ratzel, Clark Wissler, and Carl Sauer

Title: Culture Area Research and Mapping
Spatial Concept: Culture Areas, culture hearth
Discipline: Anthropology & Archaeology, Area Studies, Ethnic Studies, Geography, History

Ernest George Ravenstein

Title: The Laws of Migration, 1885
Spatial Concept: Distance decay, migration, spatial interaction, movement, spatial dispersion
Discipline: Demography, Economics, Geography, Statistics

Ellen Churchill Semple

Title: The Anglo-Saxons of the Kentucky Mountains, 1901
Spatial Concept: Human-environment interactions, Place
Discipline: Area Studies, Environmental Studies & Policy, Geography

Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay

Title: The Social Disorganization Theory
Spatial Concept: Spatial association and causation, urban area and neighborhood effects, urban social ecology, concentric zone theory
Discipline: Criminology, Demography, Ethnic Studies, Law & Society, Sociology, Urban & Regional Planning, Urban Studies

Georg Simmel

Title: The Sociology of Space
Spatial Concept: Sociology of space; social distance
Discipline: Communication Studies, Sociology, Urban Studies

G. William Skinner

Title: Marketing in Rural China, 1964–1965
Spatial Concept: Centrality, settlement hierarchy, range of a good, periodic markets
Discipline: Area Studies, Economics, Urban Studies

Lou Skoda and J.C. Robertson

Title: The Isodemographic Map of Canada, 1972.
Spatial Concept: Spatial data visualization, cartogram, isodemography
Discipline: Demography, Geography

John Snow

Title: The London Cholera Epidemic of 1854
Spatial Concept: Spatial pattern analysis, Inference of spatial process
Discipline: Demography, Public Health

Alma and Karl Taeuber

Title: Residential Segregation in U.S. Cities, 1965
Spatial Concept: segregation indices, mapping racial composition and change
Discipline: Demography, Ethnic Studies, Sociology, Statistics, Urban Studies

Charles M. Tiebout

Title: A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures, 1956
Spatial Concept: Residential sorting due to differences in local government services; spatial spillovers
Discipline: Economics, Regional Science, Urban & Regional Planning

Edward Tufte

Title: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 1983
Spatial Concept: Informational graphics
Discipline: History, Statistics

Rupert B. Vance

Title: Space and the American South
Spatial Concept: Region, spatial integration
Discipline: Demography, Geography, Sociology, Urban Studies

Johann-Heinrich von Thünen

Title: Balancing Land-Use Allocation with Transport Cost
Spatial Concept: spatial gradients, spatial optimization
Discipline: Economics, Geography, Regional Science, Urban & Regional Planning

Sam Bass Warner

Title: Modeling the Streetcar Suburbs, 1962
Spatial Concept: Urban accessibility and social class associations
Discipline: Demography, Economics, Geography, History, Urban & Regional Planning, Urban Studies

Alfred Weber

Title: Theory of the Location of Industries, 1909
Spatial Concept: Industrial location, minimum-cost location, optimal location, agglomeration economies, Verignon frame
Discipline: Economics, Geography, Regional Science, Sociology

Gordon R. Willey

Title: Settlement Patterns in Archaeology
Spatial Concept: Settlement patterns as clues to socio-political structures.
Discipline: Anthropology & Archaeology

John Kirtland Wright

Title: Early Quantitative Geography, 1937
Spatial Concept: Measuring trends and inequalities in spatial distributions
Discipline: Geography, Sociology, Statistics

Lotfi Zadeh

Title: Fuzzy logic-Incoporating Real-World Vagueness
Spatial Concept: Boundaries, regions
Discipline: Geography, Linguistics, Statistics, Other


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