E.P.B.G & G.I.Science

The article we read this week, “Environmental Perception and Behavioral Geography” by Amedeo & Golledge, discussed the development and significance of the specialization of behavioral geography. While not immediately obvious, there are some similarities between this field of study and that of G.I.Science. As the authors discussed on page 137, Environmental Perception and Behavioral Geography’s (E.P.B.G.) beginning was influenced by a changing focus of study from large scale human events over extensive spaces to a smaller, more individual, scale which emphasized the importance of interaction between humans and their environment. After this shift in scale of study, traditional issues were revisited and more questions were asked. An important tenant of G.I.Science is that of scale. Many ideas or perceptions can be changed when something is examined at a different scale. Whether one is looking at issues of scale in terms of a river network (G.I.S) or a shift in a focus of study (E.P.B.G.), knowing how to manage and maximize the positive consequences of scale is important for both fields.

An interesting idea that was discussed in the article was what constituted an environment. Since E.P.B.G. is heavily focused upon environment and how humans interact with and experience it, having a good idea of what it constitutes is a good idea. As was noted, two broad categories of environment (built and non-built) emerged, which greatly expanded the field of study. Similar to G.I.Science, as was discussed in class, there can often be complications that arise when people have different definitions of an object or idea (ex. when does a river start or stop). Speaking of which, I felt that this paper glossed over the idea of what makes an environment and that the couple of sentences devoted to it were unfulfilling. A more comprehensive definition would have made the overall paper clearer, but perhaps a more comprehensive definition is not obtainable.



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