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The term quantitative revolution describes attempts in the late 1950s and early 1960s to introduce mathematical and statistical methods into research and teaching in academic geography. Prior to this, academic geography had been concerned mainly with describing the characteristics of regions of the earth's surface using maps and text, emphasizing the unique characteristics of these regions. The origins of the term are obscure, but it was popularized in a paper by Ian Burton, in which he made two assertions. First, even in 1963, he was prepared to declare that the “revolution” was over, and, second, he claimed that the primary drive of the revolutionaries was toward well-founded, essentially positivist scientific theory. With the benefit of hindsight, both were only partly true.

First, almost all commentators agree ...

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