Numerical data are everywhere. Charts and statistics appear not just in geography journals but also in the media, in public policy, and in business and commerce too. To engage with quantitative geography, we must engage with the quantitative methods used to collect, analyse, present and interpret these data. Quantitative Geography: The Basics is the perfect introduction for undergraduates beginning any quantitative methods course. Written in short, user-friendly chapters with full-colour diagrams, the book guides the reader through a wide range of topics from the basic to the more advanced, including: • Statistics • Maths • Graphics • Models • Mapping and GIS • R Closely aligned with the Q-Step quantitative social science programme, Quantitative Geography: The Basics is the ideal starting point for understanding and exploring this fundamental area of Geography.

Some Maths and Notation

Some Maths and Notation

4.1 Introduction

Occasionally a question goes around social media such as 1 + 3 + 2 × 0 + 1 + 2 × 2 = ? Many people get the answer wrong. Some mistakenly work from left to right, adding or multiplying as they go. Some pride themselves on spotting a ‘shortcut’ – noticing the zero and wrongly ignoring everything to the left of it on the basis that any number multiplied by zero is zero. Possible answers include 5 and 6. Both are incorrect. The correct answer is 9. If you disagree, see Section 4.3 below.

Maths has rules so that calculations that ought to generate a consistent result do so. It is merely embarrassing to be wrong ...

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