A spatial typology for settlement pattern analysis in small islands


  • Michael Rodrigues Universidad Complutense de Madrid


This paper presents a method of settlement mapping and typological classification in small islands. Selecting the Atlantic islands of São Miguel, Madeira, Gran Canaria and Tenerife as study areas, data acquisition was made through classification of remotely sensed imagery. This study addresses the islands’ lack of large scale spatial data, since there are no land use/cover datasets covering all these islands at a suitable scale for more detailed studies. Due to the large scale data produced, settlement differentiation is only possible through a morphological approach, therefore a morphological restricted typology is proposed. In order to apply the proposed settlement typology in a systematic and representative analysis, the study concludes measuring the relationship between settlement types and terrain attributes through a multinomial logit model. Overall, the study contributes to a better understanding of the islands’ settlement pattern using a method that may be applied elsewhere.

Author Biography

Michael Rodrigues, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Departamento de Geografía Humana


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How to Cite

Rodrigues, M. (2015). A spatial typology for settlement pattern analysis in small islands. GeoFocus. International Review of Geographical Information Science and Technology, (15), 3–26. Retrieved from https://www.geofocus.org/index.php/geofocus/article/view/406