Spatial distribution of England's crop circles: Using GIS to investigate a geo-spatial mystery
Northcote, J. (2006) Spatial distribution of England's crop circles: Using GIS to investigate a geo-spatial mystery. Geography Online: Geographic Research on the Web, 6 (2).
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What factors influence the location of crop circles? What is their relationship to various geographical variables such as population density, road networks, and cultural heritage sites? This paper examines the spatial distribution of crop circles that appeared in the English countryside during 2002 and seeks to understand their positioning in terms of various artificial features. Through Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping and spatial analysis, the distribution of reported crop circles is shown to be a highly clustered one, which centres on certain cultural heritage sites such as Avebury and high population density areas across England, particularly in the south. Crop circles are also shown to be aligned with some of England's principal motorways. These findings cast doubt on paranormal theories explaining crop circles as the result of natural forces such as plasma vortices, indicating instead that some form of intelligence (human or otherwise) is the principal agent.
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