Determining a central place hierarchy by using electrical power data in Southwest Manitoba

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Watts, William John
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This study is concerned with determining the value of "Electrical Power Data" as a measure of the functional attributes of a center, thus, forming a base upon which a Central Place Hierarchy can be constructed. Having looked at the various measures of centrality it is concluded that the functional attributes of a center best reflect its centrality. This study is the application of Electrical Power Data as a technique of measuring functional attributes. Two types of Electrical Power Data are tested to determine their validity as a measure of the functions of a center. (1) The urban commercial hydro meters recorded to a center. (2) The kwhr. consumption of electricity of a center and its hinterland. All the data used is for 1961. The study deals with two survey areas in Manitoba. (1) A preliminary test of validity between functions and electrical power data was undertaken for the Interlake Region of Manitoba. A high correlation was found to exist between functions and electrical power data, warranting further application of the electrical power method. (2) A virgin survey area in Southwest Manitoba which is relatively homogeneous, and appears to favour the emergence of a Central Place Hierarchy was used to apply the electrical power technique. The application of the Electrical Power Data to Southwest Manitoba resulted in the emergence of 5 groups in the Central Place Hierarchy. The division between the groups was not arbitrary but rather based on statistical methods using both urban commercial meters, and kwhr. consumption of the centers in the area. Having formulated the hierarchy on the bases of Electrical Power Data, Dun and Bradstreet reference books with supplementary government services information was used to determine what services each group offered... It is concluded that although this technique of forming a hierarchy is not perfect it is worthy of consideration. It does provide the researcher with a method of comparing communities and a starting point for a Central Place Study.