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  • 1.
    Jiang, Bin
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Urban and regional planning/GIS-institute.
    The Image of the city out of the underlying scaling of city artifacts or locations2013In: Annals of the Association of American Geographers, ISSN 0004-5608, E-ISSN 1467-8306, Vol. 103, no 6, p. 1552-1566Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two fundamental issues surrounding research on the image of the city focus on the city's external and internal representations. The external representation in the context of this article refers to the city itself, external to human minds, whereas the internal representation concerns how the city is represented in human minds internally. This article deals with the first issue; that is, what traits the city has that make it imageable. I develop an argument that the image of the city arises from the underlying scaling of city artifacts or locations. This scaling refers to the fact that, in an imageable city (a city that can easily be imaged in human minds), small city artifacts are far more common than large ones; or, alternatively, low-density locations are far more common than high-density locations. The sizes of city artifacts in a rank-size plot exhibit a heavy-tailed distribution consisting of the head, which is composed of a minority of unique artifacts (vital and very important), and the tail, which is composed of redundant other artifacts (trivial and less important). Eventually, those extremely unique and vital artifacts in the top head or those largest, so to speak, what Lynch called city elements, make up the image of the city. I argue that the ever-increasing amount of geographic information on cities, in particular obtained from social media such as Flickr and Twitter, can turn research on the image of the city, or cognitive mapping in general, into a quantitative manner. The scaling property might be formulated as a law of geography.

  • 2.
    Jiang, Bin
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Urban and regional planning/GIS-institute.
    Liu, Xintao
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Urban and regional planning/GIS-institute.
    Jia, Tao
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Urban and regional planning/GIS-institute.
    Scaling of Geographic space as a universal rule for map generalization2013In: Annals of the Association of American Geographers, ISSN 0004-5608, E-ISSN 1467-8306, Vol. 103, no 4, p. 844-855Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Map generalization is a process of producing maps at different levels of detail by retaining essential properties of the underlying geographic space. In this paper, we explore how the map generalization process can be guided by the underlying scaling of geographic space. The scaling of geographic space refers to the fact that in a geographic space small things are far more common than large ones. In the corresponding rank-size distribution, this scaling property is characterized by a heavy tailed distribution such as a power law, lognormal, or exponential function. In essence, any heavy tailed distribution consists of the head of the distribution (with a low percentage of vital or large things) and the tail of the distribution (with a high percentage of trivial or small things). Importantly, the low and high percentages constitute an imbalanced contrast, e.g., 20 versus 80. We suggest that map generalization is to retain the objects in the head and to eliminate or aggregate those in the tail. We applied this selection rule or principle to three generalization experiments, and found that the scaling of geographic space indeed underlies map generalization. We further relate the universal rule to T\"opfer's radical law (or trained cartographers' decision making in general), and illustrate several advantages of the universal rule. Keywords: Head/tail division rule, head/tail breaks, heavy tailed distributions, power law, and principles of selection

  • 3.
    Jiang, Bin
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Urban and regional planning/GIS-institute.
    Yin, Junjun
    Ht-index for quantifying the fractal or scaling structure of geographic features2014In: Annals of the Association of American Geographers, ISSN 0004-5608, E-ISSN 1467-8306, Vol. 104, no 3, p. 530-541Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although geographic features, such as mountains and coastlines, are fractal, some studies have claimed that the fractal property is not universal. This claim, which is dubious, is mainly attributed to the strict definition of fractal dimension as a measure or index for characterizing the complexity of fractals. In this article, we propose an alternative, ht-index, to quantify the fractal or scaling structure of geographic features. A geographic feature has ht-index (h) if the pattern of far more small things than large ones recurs (h - 1) times at different scales. The higher the ht-index, the more complex the geographic feature. We conduct three case studies to illustrate how the computed ht-indexes capture the complexity of different geographic features. We further discuss how ht-index is complementary to fractal dimension and elaborate on a dynamic view behind ht-index that enables better understanding of geographic forms and processes.

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