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Suitability Analysis

  • By: Jacek Malczewski
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Suitability analysis is concerned with determining the most appropriate spatial pattern for future land uses according to specific requirements, preferences, or predictors of some activity. The analysis has its roots in the applications of hand-drawn, sieve-mapping overlay techniques used by landscape architects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1960s, I. L. McHarg and others refined and advanced the overlay techniques by proposing a procedure that involved mapping data on the natural and human-made attributes of the environment and then presenting this information on individual, transparent maps using light to dark shading (low suitability to high suitability). When the maps were overlaid, the darkest areas then showed the most suitable parcels of land for particular types of land use.

Land suitability methods can ...

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