Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Geology

First Advisor

Dr. Charles R. Gildersleeve


The idea that cities have diverse economic structures and social characteristics is commonly understood. Many times these differences can be traced to historical regional growth or resource availability. Recognition and better understanding of these different types of cities requires their classification. Classification is way to organize complex and diverse information in order to create a better understanding of processes and relationships. One of the ways in which geographers have classified cities, in terms of describing the external relations, is called functional town classification. The simplest way of classifying cites is to identify the distinctive role they play in the city system. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the spatial distribution of economic functions for the small urban places in the study area using a standard classification method for urban geography, and by utilizing nearest neighbor analysis. This study should produce spatial patterns of distribution based on the site and situation of the place. There may also be a strong influence of function based upon proximity to a larger urban area. The creation of a contemporary taxonomy of the small urban places in the study area, and subsequent understanding of the spatial distribution of dominant economic features should provide the base for future investigation into small urban center relationships and classification.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Geography/Geology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2005, Tyler A. Van Meeteren

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