Multi-tasking: Scale in geography

Darren Ruddell, Elizabeth Wentz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Geographers are inherently focused on the integrated processes and systems that comprise the physical and social environment; however, to date, geographic research on scale has remained relatively isolated within subdisciplines. While scale has become an increasingly important research topic in the field of geography, little effort has been made to identify commonality between research themes. This article investigates scalar issues among five research themes within geography, which are physical geography, human geography, the modifiable areal unit problem, geographic information science, and nature and society. The thrust of this paper is threefold: (i) to review scalar issues among the five research themes; (ii) to discuss alternative theoretical frameworks to investigate scale; and (iii) to call for greater theoretical and methodological integration to help resolve scalar issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-697
Number of pages17
JournalGeography Compass
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Atmospheric Science


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