In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a minuscule number of dwellings grouped together to the largest of cities with surrounding urbanized areas. Settlements may include hamlets, villages, towns and cities. A settlement may have known historical properties such as the date or era in which it was first settled, or first settled by particular people.
In the field of geospatial predictive modeling, settlements are "a city, town, village or other agglomeration of buildings where people live and work".
A settlement conventionally includes its constructed facilities such as roads, enclosures, field systems, boundary banks and ditches, ponds, parks and woods, wind and water mills, manor houses, moats and churches.
The geographical evidence of a human settlement was Jebel Irhoud, whose early modern human remains of eight individuals date back to the Middle Paleolithic around 300,000 years ago.
The oldest remains that have been found of constructed dwellings are remains of huts that were made of mud and branches around 17,000 BC at the Ohalo site (now underwater) near the edge of the Sea of Galilee. The Natufians built houses, also in the Levant, around 10,000 BC. Remains of settlements such as villages become much more common after the invention of agriculture.
Landscape history studies the form (morphology) of settlements – for example whether they are dispersed or nucleated. Urban morphology can thus be considered a special type of cultural-historical landscape studies. Settlements can be ordered by size, centrality or other factors to define a settlement hierarchy. A settlement hierarchy can be used for classifying settlement all over the world, although a settlement called a 'town' in one country might be a 'village' in other countries; or a 'large town' in some countries might be a 'city' in others.
Geoscience Australia defines a populated place as "a named settlement with a population of 200 or more persons".
The Committee for Geographical Names in Australasia used the term localities for rural areas, while the Australian Bureau of Statistics uses the term "urban centres/localities" for urban areas.[ citation needed ]
The Agency for Statistics in Bosnia and Herzegovina uses the term "populated place" /"settled place" for rural (or urban as an administrative center of some Municipality/City), and "Municipality" and "City" for urban areas.
The Bulgarian Government publishes a National Register of Populated places (NRPP).
The Canadian government uses the term "populated place" in the Atlas of Canada , but does not define it.Statistics Canada uses the term localities for historically named locations.
The Croatian Bureau of Statistics records population in units called settlements (naselja).
The Census Commission of India has a special definition of census towns.
The Central Statistics Office of the Republic of Ireland has a special definition of census towns.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics records population in units of settlements called Tehsil – an administrative unit derived from the Mughal era.
There are various types of inhabited localities in Russia.
Statistics Sweden uses the term localities (tätort) for various densely populated places. The common English-language translation is urban areas.
The UK Department for Communities and Local Government uses the term "urban settlement" to denote an urban area when analysing census information.The Registrar General for Scotland defines settlements as groups of one or more contiguous localities, which are determined according to population density and postcode areas. The Scottish settlements are used as one of several factors defining urban areas.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a Geographic Names Information System that defines three classes of human settlement:
Populated places may be specifically defined in the context of censuses and be different from general-purpose administrative entities, such as "place" as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau or census-designated places.
In the field of geospatial predictive modeling, settlements are "a city, town, village, or other agglomeration of buildings where people live and work".
The Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) framework produces global spatial information about the human presence on the planet over time. This in the form of built up maps, population density maps and settlement maps. This information is generated with evidence-based analytics and knowledge using new spatial data mining technologies. The framework uses heterogeneous data including global archives of fine-scale satellite imagery, census data, and volunteered geographic information. The data is processed fully automatically and generates analytics and knowledge reporting objectively and systematically about the presence of population and built-up infrastructures. The GHSL operates in an open and free data and methods access policy (open input, open method, open output).
The term "Abandoned populated places" is a Feature Designation Name in databases sourced by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agencyand GeoNames.
Sometimes the structures are still easily accessible, such as in a ghost town, and these may become tourist attractions. Some places that have the appearance of a ghost town, however, may still be defined as populated places by government entities.[ citation needed ]
A town may become a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, because of a government action, such as the building of a dam that floods the town, or because of natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, uncontrolled lawlessness, or war. The term is sometimes used to refer to cities, towns, and neighborhoods that are still populated, but significantly less so than in years past.[ citation needed ]
A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world.
A metropolitan area or metro is a region that consists of a densely populated urban agglomeration and its surrounding territories sharing industries, commercial areas, transport network, infrastructures and housing. A metro area usually comprises multiple principal cities, jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships, boroughs, cities, towns, exurbs, suburbs, counties, districts, and even states and nations like the eurodistricts. As social, economic and political institutions have changed, metropolitan areas have become key economic and political regions.
A census tract, census area, census district or meshblock is a geographic region defined for the purpose of taking a census. Sometimes these coincide with the limits of cities, towns or other administrative areas and several tracts commonly exist within a county. In unincorporated areas of the United States these are often arbitrary, except for coinciding with political lines.
A census-designated place (CDP) is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used in each decennial census since 1980 as the counterparts of incorporated places, such as self-governing cities, towns, and villages, for the purposes of gathering and correlating statistical data. CDPs are populated areas that generally include one officially designated but currently unincorporated community, for which the CDP is named, plus surrounding inhabited countryside of varying dimensions and, occasionally, other, smaller unincorporated communities as well. CDPs include small rural communities, edge cities, colonias located along the Mexico–United States border, and unincorporated resort and retirement communities and their environs.
The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, consisting of the Kantō region of Japan as well as the prefecture of Yamanashi of the neighboring Chūbu region. In Japanese, it is referred to by various terms, one of the most common being Capital Region.
A hamlet is a small human settlement. In different jurisdictions and geographies, a hamlet may be the size of a town, village or parish, or may be considered to be a smaller settlement or subdivision or satellite entity to a larger settlement. The word and concept of a hamlet have roots in the Anglo-Norman settlement of England, where the old French hamlet came to apply to small human settlements. In British geography, a hamlet is considered smaller than a village and distinctly without a church or other place of worship. A hamlet may consist of a farm, mill or mine and all workers would generally be labouring here. There would be no, or if any, considerably basic services available to locals.
A geocode is a code that represents a geographic entity. It is a unique identifier of the entity, to distinguish it from others in a finite set of geographic entities. In general the geocode is a human-readable and short identifier.
The census geographic units of Canada are the census subdivisions defined and used by Canada's federal government statistics bureau Statistics Canada to conduct the country's quinquennial census. These areas exist solely for the purposes of statistical analysis and presentation; they have no government of their own. They exist on four levels: the top-level (first-level) divisions are Canada's provinces and territories; these are divided into second-level census divisions, which in turn are divided into third-level census subdivisions and fourth-level dissemination areas.
An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as cities, towns, conurbations or suburbs. In urbanism, the term contrasts to rural areas such as villages and hamlets; in urban sociology or urban anthropology it contrasts with natural environment. The creation of earlier predecessors of urban areas during the urban revolution led to the creation of human civilization with modern urban planning, which along with other human activities such as exploitation of natural resources led to a human impact on the environment. "Agglomeration effects" are in the list of the main consequences of increased rates of firm creation since. This is due to conditions created by a greater level of industrial activity in a given region. However, a favorable environment for human capital development would also be generated simultaneously.
An urban area or tätort in Sweden has a minimum of 200 inhabitants and may be a city, town or larger village. It is a purely statistical concept, not defined by any municipal or county boundaries. Larger urban areas synonymous with cities or towns for statistical purposes have a minimum of 10,000 inhabitants. The same statistical definition is also used for urban areas in the other Nordic countries.
Address geocoding, or simply geocoding, is the process of taking a text-based description of a location, such as an address or the name of a place, and returning geographic coordinates, frequently latitude/longitude pair, to identify a location on the Earth's surface. Reverse geocoding, on the other hand, converts geographic coordinates to a description of a location, usually the name of a place or an addressable location. Geocoding relies on a computer representation of address points, the street / road network, together with postal and administrative boundaries.
A city proper is the geographical area contained within city limits. The term proper is not exclusive to cities; it can describe the geographical area within the boundaries of any given locality. The United Nations defines the term as "the single political jurisdiction which contains the historical city centre."
In the United States, geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) is intelligence about the human activity on earth derived from the exploitation and analysis of imagery, signals, or signatures with geospatial information. GEOINT describes, assesses, and visually depicts physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. GEOINT, as defined in US Code, consists of imagery, imagery intelligence (IMINT) and geospatial information.
Spatial analysis or spatial statistics includes any of the formal techniques which studies entities using their topological, geometric, or geographic properties. Spatial analysis includes a variety of techniques, many still in their early development, using different analytic approaches and applied in fields as diverse as astronomy, with its studies of the placement of galaxies in the cosmos, to chip fabrication engineering, with its use of "place and route" algorithms to build complex wiring structures. In a more restricted sense, spatial analysis is the technique applied to structures at the human scale, most notably in the analysis of geographic data or transcriptomics data.
The United States Census Bureau defines a place as a concentration of population which has a name, is locally recognized, and is not part of any other place. A place typically has a residential nucleus and a closely spaced street pattern, and it frequently includes commercial property and other urban land uses. A place may be an incorporated place or it may be a census-designated place (CDP). Incorporated places are defined by the laws of the states in which they are contained. The Census Bureau delineates CDPs. A small settlement in the open countryside or the densely settled fringe of a large city may not be a place as defined by the Census Bureau. As of the 1990 Census, 26% of the people in the United States lived outside of places.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to geography:
Populated place in Ukraine is a structural element of human settling system, a stationary settlement, territorially integral compact area of population concentration basic and important feature of which is permanent human habitation. Populated places in Ukraine are systematized into two major categories: urban and rural. Urban populated places can be either cities or urban settlements, while rural populated places can be either villages or rural settlements. According to the 2001 Ukrainian Census there are 1,344 urban populated places and 28,621 rural populated places in Ukraine.