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Unit 5

5.2 Settlement Patterns and Survey Methods

2 min readmay 4, 2020

Pooja Kalyan


AP Human Geography 🚜

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What affects land-use patterns?  

Land-use patterns are largely dependent on cultural traditions, the accessibility of resources, and the environment. This explains why certain crops are present in one region, but not in others- it all depends on the agricultural land use! The real question is, how do we differentiate between various rural settlement patterns and what rural survey methods are out there? 

Rural Settlement Patterns

These settlement patterns are special to the region that they originated from, but they have also influenced other regions around the world through diffusion and colonization. You should know the following rural settlement patterns for the AP Exam: 

Clustered 

  • Families live in close proximity to each other
  • Agriculture based community- composed of houses and farm buildings 
  • Fields surround the community 

Dispersed 

  • Farmers live in their own, individual farms - isolated from other farmers 
  • Separated, spread out community (unlike clustered)

Linear 

  • Buildings run along a fixed landscape (i.e. a road, river, canal) 
    • Buildings form a straight line 
  • Clustered settlement - small to medium-sized

Rural Survey Methods 

Long Lot

  • Land is divided into narrow lots perpendicular to a river, road, or canal 
  • These lots stretch from buildings or houses to the river, road, etc. 
  • Gives everyone equal access to the “resource” (i.e. the river, road, or whatever else the lot connects to) 

Metes and Bounds 

  • Defines the boundaries of a piece of land based on the physical landscape, directions, and distances 
  • Metes = a specific, measured boundary 
  • Bounds = a general boundary (waterways, walls, existing buildings, etc) 

Township and Range 

  • Land is divided into six-mile square blocks (townships) and divided again into one-mile square blocks (range) 
  • Ranges are broken further into smaller parcels for people to develop
🎥 Watch: AP HUG - Rural Land Use

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