Zipf's Law for All the Natural Cities in the United States: A Geospatial Perspective - Physics > Data Analysis, Statistics and ProbabilityReport as inadecuate




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Abstract: This paper provides a new geospatial perspective on whether or not Zipf-s lawholds for all cities or for the largest cities in the United States using amassive dataset and its computing. A major problem around this issue is how todefine cities or city boundaries. Most of the investigations of Zipf-s law relyon the demarcations of cities imposed by census data, e.g., metropolitan areasand census-designated places. These demarcations or definitions of cities arecriticized for being subjective or even arbitrary. Alternative solutions todefining cities are suggested, but they still rely on census data for theirdefinitions. In this paper we demarcate urban agglomerations by clusteringstreet nodes including intersections and ends, forming what we call naturalcities. Based on the demarcation, we found that Zipf-s law holds remarkablywell for all the natural cities over 2-4 million in total across the UnitedStates. There is little sensitivity for the holding with respect to theclustering resolution used for demarcating the natural cities. This is a bigcontrast to urban areas, as defined in the census data, which do not holdstable for Zipf-s law.Keywords: Natural cities, power law, data-intensive geospatial computing,scaling of geographic space



Author: Bin Jiang, Tao Jia

Source: https://arxiv.org/







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