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Key terms from chapter 12 (Services) of The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography (8th edition) by James M. Rubenstein.

Basic Industries

Industries that sell their products primarily to consumers outside the settlement.

Business Services

Services that primarily meet the needs of other businesses.

Central Business District

The area of the city where retail and office activities are clustered.

Central Place

A market center for the exchange of services by people attracted from the surrounding areas.

Central Place Theory

A theory that explains the distribution of services, based on the fact that settlements serve as centers of the market areas for services; larger settlements are fewer and further apart than smaller settlements and provide services for a larger number of people who are willing to travel further.


A sovereign state comprising a city and it's immediate hinterland.

Clustered rural settlement

A rural settlement in which the houses and farm buildings of each family are situated close to each other and fields surround the settlement.

Dispersed Rural Settlement

A rural settlement pattern characterized by isolated farms rather than clustered villages.

Economic Base

A community's collection of basic industries.

Enclosure Movement

The process of consolidating small landholdings into a smaller number of larger farms in England during the 18th century.

Gravity Model

The model that holds the potential use of a service at a particular location is directly related to the number of people in a location and inversely related to the distance people must travel to reach the service.

Market Area

The area surrounding a central place from which people are attracted to use the place's goods and services.

Nonbasic Industries

Industries that sell their products primarily to consumers in the community.

Personal Services

The services that provide the well being and personal improvement of individual consumers.

Primate City

The largest settlement in a country, if it has more than twice as many people as the 2nd ranking settlement.

Primate City Rule

A pattern of settlements in a country, such that the largest settlement has more than twice as many people as the 2nd largest settlement.

Producer Services

Services that primarily help people conduct business.

Public Services

Services offered by the government to provide security and protection services for citizens and businesses.


The maximum distance people are willing to travel to use a service.

rank-size rule

A pattern of settlements in a country such that a nth largest settlement in 1/n the population of the largest settlement.

Retail Services

Services that provide goods for sale to consumers.


Any activity that fulfills a human want or need and returns money to those who provide it.


A permanent collection of buildings and inhabitants.


The minimum number of people needed to support the service.

Transportation and Information Services

Services that diffuse and distribute services.

Consumer services

Businesses that provide services primarily to individual customers, including retail services and personal services.

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