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In
human geography upright=1.2|Original map by John Snow showing the clusters of cholera cases in the London [[epidemic of 1854, which is a classical case of using human geography Human geography or anthropogeography is the branch of [[geography that is associated a ...
, a catchment area is the area from which a city, service or institution attracts a population that uses its services. For example, a school catchment area is the [[geographic area from which students are eligible to attend a local [[school. Governments and [[community service organizations often define catchment areas for planning purposes and [[public safety such as ensuring universal access to services like fire departments, police departments, ambulance bases and hospitals.


Creation

Catchment areas are generally established and modified by local governments. These boundaries can be modeled using
geographic information system A geographic information system (GIS) is a conceptualized framework that provides the ability to capture and analyze spatial and geographic data. GIS applications (or GIS apps) are computer-based tools that allow the user to create interactive qu ...
s (GIS). There can be large variability in the services provided within different catchments in the same area depending upon how and when those catchments were established. They are usually contiguous but can overlap when they describe competing services.


Defining

Catchments can be defined based upon a number of factors, including distance to the facility, actual travel time to the facility, geographic boundaries or population within the catchment. In a distance based catchment, the area serviced will often depend on the number of visits expected to that institution by each individual. For example, it may be more acceptable to have a larger catchment for a hospital where any one individual will have few annual visits in comparison to a school where visits will be daily and hence desired distance would be closer. When a facility’s capacity can only service a specific volume, the catchment may be used to limit a population’s ability to access services outside that area. For example, children may be unable to enroll in a school outside their catchment to prevent the school's services being exceeded.


Examples

*
Airport An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports often have facilities to park and maintain aircraft, and a control tower. An airport consists of a landing area, which comprises an aerially ...
s can be built and maintained in locations which minimize the driving distance for the surrounding population to reach them. *A neighborhood or district of a city often has several small convenience shops, each with a catchment area of several streets. Supermarkets, on the other hand, have a much lower density, with catchment areas of several neighborhoods (or several villages in rural areas). This principle, similar to the
central place theory Central place theory is a geographical theory that seeks to explain the number, size and location of human settlements in a residential system.Goodall, B. (1987) The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography. London: Penguin. It was introduced in 1933 ...
, makes catchment areas an important area of study for
geographers A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist and humanist whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society, including how society and nature interacts. The Greek prefix "geo" means "earth" an ...
,
economists An economist is a practitioner in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy. Within this field there are many sub-fields, r ...
, and
urban planners An urban planner is a professional who practices in the field of urban planning. An urban planning engineer may focus on a specific area of practice and have a title such as city planner, town planner, regional planner, long-range planner, tran ...
. *In order to compensate for income inequalities, distances, variations in secondary educational level, and other similar factors, a nation may structure its
higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion o ...
catchment areas to ensure a good mixture of students from different backgrounds. *Hong Kong divides its primary schools into School Nets under its
Primary One Admission System Public primary schools in Hong Kong admit students via the Primary One Admission System, administered by the Education Bureau (EDB). The system divides available school places into Discretionary Places and places for central allocation. Schools are ...
, functioning as catchment areas for allocation of school places.


See also

*
Hinterland Hinterland is a German word meaning "the land behind" (a city, a port, or similar). The term's use in English was first documented by geographer George Chisholm in his ''Handbook of Commercial Geography'' (1888). Originally the term was associated ...
*
School district A school district is a special-purpose district that operates local public primary and secondary schools in various nations. North America United States In the U.S, most K–12 public schools function as units of local school districts, which ...


References


External links

* {{in lang|fr}
http://www.owlapps.net/application-geomarketing: catchment area calculations free webapp

List of Nigerian Universities Catchment Areas
Category:Human geography Category:Anthropology Category:Branches of geography Category:Environmental social science Geography Category:Social sciences {{CatAutoTOC ...
Category:Economic geography