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# GEOGRAPHY example of theoretical rationale

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Introduction

Theoretical Rationale I will now explain the theory behind my hypothesis. A key focus during my investigation is spheres of influence. Settlement hierarchy, suggests that the larger the settlement, the larger the sphere of influence. This is the same with settlement because larger settlements provide a greater variety of services and shops, affecting the distance from which people are prepared to travel to the settlement. For example, the sphere of influence of a capital city would stretch to the borders of a country, but the sphere of influence of a small town, may only be very local, due to fewer services and shops, hence less reason to travel there. As it would be impractical to carry out such a large scale investigation of sphere of influences of settlements, I will adapt the theory to retail outlets, to investigate differences between spheres of influence of two retail outlets. ...read more.

Middle

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/Christaller_model_1.jpg Conversely, in 1931, William Reilly suggested that there are no fixed areas of trade and that they could vary in size, shape and may overlap. A statistical method was still used however, to determine a point. Consumers living on one side of this point, or breaking point, would patron settlement A and those on the other side would patron settlement B. So the point furthest from a settlement where someone would choose to travel to that settlement would be the breaking point. The breaking point between two settlements would generally be further from the larger settlements, hence closer to the smaller ones. Which leads me onto say, it cannot be calculated without 2 settlements. Christaller and Reilly's theories are both deterministic, however, in 1963, Huff brought a new concept into the study and his theory was more probabilistic. He too used a statistical method; however the result was expressed as a probability. ...read more.

Conclusion

Reilly's model also shows the effect population (and indirectly size) has an effect on sphere of influence, as shown in the diagram. Huffs probability model, reiterates that consumers have imperfect knowledge and choice to patron different locations, showing that a line cannot be drawn to fully determine whether consumers on one side will patron a certain location. Hypothesis 'I expect there will be a difference the sphere of influence of the two retail outlets, due to various reasons including the overall size of the outlets' To investigate the spheres of influence I will be comparing two retail outlets. These will be a Sainsbury's and an Aldi, both in the area of Selly Oak; the Sainsbury's being much larger. On the next page I am going to locate these outlets with the use of aerial maps and photos (from www.multimap.com). How close the retail outlets are to each other can be noticed. ?? ?? ?? ?? Investigating spheres of influence of two retail outlets Bharath Varadharajan ...read more.

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