Environmental Perception and Behavioural Geography

“Environmental Perception and Behavioural Geography” (EPBG) by Amedeo & Golledge discuss the emergence and importance of the EPBG to better understand person-environment relations. The understanding of person-environment relations requires external information about both humans, human interaction and place. Within this larger topic, spatial social network (SSN) analyses gain relevance by providing a map of relationships among individuals and an assessment of the link between individuals and their locations. SSN provides a representation of social ties and affinity to place, while EPBG offers ways to understand how the spatial social structure influence the environment or how the environment shapes spatial social structures (or both).
In a similar way Big Data, particularly spatial data, enables the analysis of large amounts of information about how people engage with the environment, which could contribute to our understanding of human-environment relations (if data is properly selected for).
An issue I find particularly interesting which was not brought up by the article, is how humans engage with their virtual environment. Increasingly, people identify themselves with online personas, which can range from a mere representation of oneself online to the creation of avatars in a virtual reality. In this context, the notion of environment as a space may lose some of its importance in favor of a conceptualization of the environment as a place. The relationships people engage in in this social sphere has yet to be fully explored or analyzed and will present EPBG with interesting opportunities and challenges.

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