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Visualizing Rank and Size of Cities and Towns: Part I, England, Scotland, and Wales,1901-2001

Institute of Mathematical Geography
Publication Date
  • Animation
  • Rank-Size
  • Mathematics


Rank-size plots have been used for years in a number of contexts: large sizes have small numeric ranks--the largest city in a region has rank 1 (the smallest numeral). Discussions of these plots, merits and drawbacks, example suited and not suited for application, and a host of related matters persist in the social scientific (and other) literature. Our focus in this internet paper is on the geometric visualization of rank-size relations: not only as plots but also in other ways that have come about as a result of contemporary electronic and internet capability.

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