The terms location and place in geography are used to identify a point or an area on the Earth's surface or elsewhere. The term location generally implies a higher degree of certainty than place, which often indicates an entity with an ambiguous boundary, relying more on human or social attributes of place identity and sense of place than on geometry.
The distinction between space and place has been addressed by scholars such as Yi-Fu Tuan, Doreen Massey, Nigel Thrift, and John Agnew. Earlier humanistic approaches to place as a site of subjective experience have triggered Marxist, post-structuralist, and feminist criticisms, which have informed more recent accounts of place as socially produced and politically contested.
Types of location and placeEdit
- Relative location
A relative location, or situation, is described as a displacement from another site. An example is "3 miles northwest of Seattle".
A location, settlement, or populated place is likely to have a well-defined name but a boundary which is not well defined in varies by context. London, for instance, has a legal boundary, but this is unlikely to completely match with general usage. An area within a town, such as Covent Garden in London, also almost always has some ambiguity as to its extent.
- Absolute location
An absolute location is designated using a specific pairing of latitude and longitude in a Cartesian coordinate grid — for example, a Spherical coordinate system or an ellipsoid-based system such as the World Geodetic System — or similar methods. For instance, the position of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela can be expressed approximately in the WGS84 coordinate system as the location 9.80°N (latitude), 71.56°W (longitude). It is, however, just one way. Alternative ways can be seen in this Geo Hack link: .
Absolute location, however, is a term with little real meaning, since any location must be expressed relative to something else. For example, longitude is the number of degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian, a line arbitrarily chosen to pass through Greenwich, London. Similarly, latitude is the number of degrees north or south of the Equator. Because latitude and longitude are expressed relative to these lines, a position expressed in latitude and longitude is actually a relative location.
- Simandan, Dragos (April 2011). "Making sense of place through multiple memory systems". New Zealand Geographer. 67 (1): 21–24. doi:10.1111/j.1745-7939.2011.01194.x.
- Tuan, Yi-fu. Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. U of Minnesota Press. ISBN 9781452905532.
- Agnew, John A; Livingstone, David N (2011). Space and Place. The SAGE Handbook of Geographical Knowledge. SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781412910811.
- Simandan, Dragos (April 2011). "On time, place and happiness". New Zealand Geographer. 67 (1): 6–15. doi:10.1111/j.1745-7939.2011.01192.x.
- Cresswell, Tim (2014). Place: an introduction. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-11-857415-7.
- Gersmehl, Philip (2008). Teaching Geography (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-59385-715-8.