1. bookVolume 29 (2021): Issue 4 (December 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
30 Jul 2013
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

The Contribution of Spatial Interaction Modelling to Spatial History: The Case of Central Places and their Hinterlands in the Territory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

Published Online: 31 Dec 2021
Page range: 267 - 277
Received: 29 Apr 2021
Accepted: 15 Nov 2021
Journal Details
First Published
30 Jul 2013
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

Research on spatial history can be enriched by using approaches from quantitative geography. We analyse an historical regional system and highlight three basic assumptions, building upon Christaller’s central place theory: cities do not stand alone in space, they interact with their hinterlands, and they are hierarchically organised. We investigate the relative position of central places in space and define their hinterlands using a spatial interaction modelling approach. We present the example of functional regional taxonomy in past environments, which therefore has a higher degree of uncertainty in the results and in their interpretation. We use a variant of Reilly’s model to define the functional regions in Austria-Hungary at the beginning and at the end of the 20th century. We present a possible interpretation of the model results based on the identification of the major factors responsible for developments in the urban and regional systems of Austria-Hungary over 100 years. We conclude that the development of urban and regional systems in the territory of the former Austria-Hungary was not considerably affected by the role of political-economic systems, the administrative organisation of states, nor by the different stages in economic development of its formerly constituent territories.


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