Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 12, Iss. 1, January, 2008, pp. 3-13
@2008 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


Spatial Behavior Analysis at the Global Level Using Fractal Geometry

Roger C. Sambrook, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Abstract: Previous work has suggested that an estimate of fractal dimension can provide a useful metric for quantifying settlement patterns. This study uses fractal methods to investigate settlement patterns at a global scale showing that the scaling behavior of the pattern of the world”s largest cities corresponds to that typically observed for coastlines and rivers. This serves to validate the use of fractal dimension as a scale-independent measure of settlement patterns which can be correlated with other physical features. Such a measure may be a useful validation criterion for models of human settlement and spatial behavior.

Keywords: fractal, spatial, settlement, mass dimension