Numbers aren't nasty: A workbook of spatial concepts
By David J. Unwin
From the Introduction by Professor Unwin:
This little workbook provides a series of relatively simple, usually numerical or computer-based, exercises that together illustrate some of the basic spatial concepts whose mastery might be held to be a component of what has been termed spatial literacy. The exercises themselves have been drawn from experiences teaching geography at University level in a variety of institutions and have in most cases been tried and tested many times.
The 34 exercises in the workbook are organised in Chapters 2 through 6 as follows:
2. Location, Spaces and Distance
"In this chapter we develop student’s appreciation of the ‘first order’ basic spatial concepts of location, scale, adjacency, distance, and projection as well as the variety of ways by which they can be ‘measured’ in different ‘spaces’"
3. Patterns of Point Objects
"This chapter continues the examination and clarification of concepts relating to point objects, for which as argued in Chapter 1, appropriate, complex/ second order, concepts relate to words like ‘distribution’, ‘dispersion’, ‘density’, ‘pattern’ and ‘scale’ and, at higher level still, third order concepts relating to point process models, stationarity and isotropy/anisotropy"
4. Lines on Maps
"This chapter deals with the first order concepts of length and direction as well as the second order concept of connection"
5. Area: the Devil's Variable?
"In this chapter we develop student’s appreciation of the basic spatial concepts of area itself, shape, adjacency and pattern."
"This chapter provides a series of exercises associated with self-defining continuous fields where the entity is an attribute that is continuous across space and thus is in some sense self-defining. The relations are those involving distance and magnitude and there are a number of associated spatial concepts such as the first order primitive we call height, and second order notions of continuity, gradient and trend"
The material in this workbook was authored under the auspices of the Spatial Literacy in Teaching (SPLINT) initiative, a project directed by Dr. Nick Tate at the University Of Leicester, U.K. © David J. Unwin (2010)