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Describe and explain the value of industrial location models

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Introduction

A-level Geography Industrial Location Models What is an industrial location model? [5] 1) A model is a mathematical representation that is used to show why patterns have occurred, or to predict how things will occur in the future. A location model shows why certain things have located in certain spaces and aims to show where they will locate in the future. An industrial location model therefore aims to show why industry has located in the area it has, and where it will locate in the future. The term industry includes primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors. All sides of industry can be incorporated in these models, this includes tertiary and primary as well as secondary employment, although most models are designed with manufacturing specifically in mind. There are many types of industrial location model. Weber designed a model that showed where secondary manufacturing industry would locate based on the weight of raw materials used and the weight of the final product. ...read more.

Middle

The factory should therefore locate near to the raw material. A material index of less than 1, where weight is gained during manufacturing, would locate near to the market. An index of less than 1 could be achieved by an industry using largely ubiquitous materials, like water, as in the brewing industry. Once a least-cost location has been established through the material index, Weber considers the effect of labour costs in deflecting industry away from the least cost location. Isodapanes are constructed to determine the area within which an industry can locate without losing money. The critical isodapane is the greatest distance an industry can locate from the least-cost location without losing money. If a source of cheap labour lies within an isodapane below the critical isodapane, it would be more profitable to choose the site with low labour costs rather than the least transport costs location. Weber also takes into account agglomeration of industries, the model suggests that some factories locate within critical isodapanes of other factories, to share resources labour and transport costs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Before the 1600's, iron making was found near to outcrops of ore, where there were plenty of trees, e.g. Forest of Dean, because transport was poor and they were unable to move raw materials large distances. This fits Weber's model because iron making would have a material index of greater than one, due to iron ore being much greater in weight than the iron produced as the finished product. However Weber's model says that a resource such as trees will be ubiquitous, which is not the case here. After 1700 coke began to be used to smelt iron more efficiently. The new furnaces were located near coalmines, where coal would have been the heaviest raw material to transport e.g. Sheffield and South Wales. This fits Weber's model. Today the coalmines have run out, but the industry hasn't relocated because good transport systems mean that ores and coal can be transported in from abroad. This complies with Smith's model because profit has been made in a sub optimum location. Other reasons for the iron and steel industry remaining in the same areas are large amounts of labour and agglomeration, which are covered in Weber's model. ...read more.

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