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The first law of geography (FLG), also known in the literature as Tobler's first law (TFL), refers to the statement made by Waldo Tobler in a paper published in Economic Geography in 1970: “Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.” The first law is the foundation for one of the most fundamental concepts in geographic information science: spatial dependence. This entry begins with some background on the article that established the first law and then discusses some of its implications.

Tobler's Seminal Article

The main purpose of Tobler's 1970 paper was to simulate the population growth of Detroit from 1910 to 2000 in the form of a computer movie. For every month during the period, Tobler calculated and displayed ...

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