In approaching a subject for the first time it is useful to begin by obtaining an overview of the main conceptual approaches, themes, and issues that comprise the field Each subject has a need for systematic rules, methods, techniques & system for appropriate and scientific study. These methodologies are known as approaches.
There are two popular approaches to settlement geography according to Hartshorne are:
1.Systematic 2. Regional
Dickinson expresses the settlement geography in the terms of Structure, Process and Stage Three important approaches are:
· Works on the basis of historical processes
· Supported and influenced by historical perspective, archaeological and geographers and commonly applied in the study of settlement geography.
· Proper investigation of documents, place names etc.
· Comprehensive understanding of individual characteristics in relation to the surrounding subsystem.
Deals with a genetic progression that is past, present, and future of the settlement. There are three subsets.
Retrogressive:- By Bloch:-focuses on or upon the past evidence & are also a concern with present pattern of settlement.
Retrospective:-Focuses upon the present the past conditions regarding settlements being considered for a better understanding of the existing state.
Prospective:-it concern with the future but the past and present are considered as a relict feature for future probability need.
Spatial / Regional Approach:
This approach was introduced by Ratzel. This approach is basically related to patterns and processes by considering the man-environmental relationship.
This approach has system and subsystems, analysis through which several aspects of settlement-like:- types, pattern, classification, functional integration & rank local identity, planning & rationalization, site, situation….
This approach the interrelationship of man-nature-society – is better expressed in any cultural landscape.
Analysis of patterns and process they express the spatial organizations in environmental space.
Consideration for the spatial analysis several techniques Like- nearest neighbor analysis method of dispersion concentration, land model, functional analysis method etc.
From place to place or region to region all over the world such differences in the settlement are due to spatial differences of their environment.
Ecological / Environmental Approach:-
From an ecological point of view which applied to explain the processes of change in human behavior & settlement over time. Hudson has expected this approach form understanding and describing the setting process in human settlement having three phases.
- Behavioral differences show regional variation.
- The approach is very fundamental in understanding man-environmental intere-relationship.
- The trial settlement has a proper adoption of available environment several traditions, festivals, functions etc.
- Nearest neighbor analysis has been widely used for studying the concentration and dispersion of settlement
Therefore, this approach explains the man-environment adaptation over the region.