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Geography Sphere of Influence

Essay by   •  April 1, 2014  •  Research Paper  •  3,247 Words (13 Pages)  •  1,846 Views

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Theoretical Context

The sphere of influence is the area which an organisation has political, economic or cultural influence over. The way to measure the sphere of influence is to determine how far away influence is felt. For example people travel towards areas to spend money, work, to hang out with friends or to vote. How far people are willing to travel to a settlement to do these things is said to be its sphere of influence. The factors affecting the sphere of influence are the range of goods on offer, accessibility and size of the organisation.


To consider whether there will be any difference in the sphere of influence of two parks, Hazlehead and Duthie taking into account their size and facilities.


These are to...

1. Describe the location of the parks

2. Describe the characteristics of the parks

3. Identify similarities and differences

4. Establish whether observed differences are statistically "real"

5. Investigate a reason for the differences

Null Hypothesis

There will be no difference in the sphere of influence of the two parks looking at their facilities and size.

Working Hypothesis

The park with the best facilities and which is biggest in size will show the larger sphere of influence

Methods and Techniques

Data Gathering - Primary

Technique Specifics Justification

Questionnaire (Mock) carried out between 10-12

Asking 25 people

Closed questions Helped to identify flaws

Helped to identify additional questions

Questionnaire (Real) Carried out between 10-2

Asking 100 people

Closed and open questions Allows to collect data regarding sphere of influence

Open questions allow for qualitative data as well as quantitative

Taking photographs Photographs of park facilities Gives an idea of how the parks look

In order to collect data on the sphere of influence a questionnaire was carried out on the individuals visiting the park. Firstly a mock questionnaire was made up so that any weaknesses in the questionnaire could be identified and accurate primary information could be collected that had not been tampered with. This mock questionnaire was then carried out for 2 hours, between 10am - 12pm, asking 25 people at Duthie Park. It helped to identify any flaws in the questionnaire or possible additions that could be made to it. It was identified that the questions used should only be ones with answers that fit into certain categories as otherwise there would be many answers to certain questions. In other words the questions are best to be closed questions rather than open questions. The actual questionnaire was carried out on a weekday (Thursday in Hazlehead Park and Friday for Duthie Park) between the times of 10am and 2pm. It was carried out at this time as it included morning, lunch time and afternoon so people who are at work but visit on their lunch breaks can also be counted, as can people who only work in the morning or afternoon. The position of the park where data was collected was at the entrance where only people going out were questioned to avoid people being asked more than once so results were accurate.

Data Gathering - Secondary

The sizes of the parks were then found out by accessing the Aberdeen City Council website, where there is a section on each park. The "digimaps" site was used to obtain locations of the parks.

Data Processing

Once 55 people had been questioned in each park these results were then collated. The postcodes of the people allowed a rough idea of their place of residence to be found. This was done by accessing the Post Offices postcode finder site and over a series of days the location of the subjects questions could be marked on a map. This allowed the sphere of influence to be seen. The parks were also visited individually so their characteristics could be recorded on a map, using different symbols to highlight the different facilities.


The point that people travelled from were then separated into bands by drawing circles around the centre of the site at 4 intervals of 1000m. This meant that it could be seen whether a large number of people came from a certain distance from the park. Wind Rose diagrams were also drawn for each park so that the directions people came from could be seen more easily. The percentage of land use was also calculated so that the main land uses in the parks could be identified and it could be seen whether the types of land use in the park affect the sphere of influence. Point values were allocated to different facilities to determine whether one of the parks had a bigger point and quantify results. Graphs were drawn of these so results of the two parks could be compared. The nearest neighbour analysis was then calculated allowing it to be seen whether there is a large amount of clustering of the point's people come from to use the parks.


The study was carried out to consider whether two parks in the city if Aberdeen would show a difference in their sphere of influence depending on their size and facilities. The two parks were Duthie Park and Hazlehead Park. Their locations were pinpointed and it was considered which of the two allowed for better accessibility. Hazlehead park is on the outskirts of Aberdeen city. Duthie Park is situated on the banks of the river Dee. (Figure 1 & 2)

Figure 1: Map of Aberdeen City (digimaps)

Figure 2: Location Map of Duthie Park and Hazlehead Park (digimaps)

Park Characteristics/facilities

Looking at the



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