Spatial Interaction Patterns

Waldo Tobler

DOI: 10.2190/VAKC-3GRF-3XUG-WY4W


An algebraic examination of spatial models leads to the conclusion that a convenient description of the pattern of flows implicit in a geographical interaction table is obtained by displaying a field of vectors computed from the relative net exchanges. The vector field approximates the gradient of a scalar potential, and this may be invoked to explain the flows. The method can be applied to asymmetrical tables of a non-geographical nature.

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