Understanding and monitoring weather conditions

Techniques and Fieldwork

Firstly it is important to understand the different weather instruments and their purpose. 

Primary and secondary methods of monitoring and understanding weather conditions

Primary:

  • Making observations and recording it in a weather diary 
  • Weather instruments – for more detail see post ‘using weather instruments – fieldwork’
  • Weather stations now use computer systems to record weather and keep organisations such as the Met Office involved through wireless and satellite connections.

Secondary:

  • Met Office website. This has synoptic charts to monitoring different weather conditions passing us e.g. fronts. It also keeps an archive of the weather so we can see weather patterns over a long course of time.
  • BBC website has some radar, satellite and surface pressure maps too which can help when trying to understand different weather conditions
  • People may write about the weather in blogs, websites and posts which allow us to measure weather conditions.
  • GIS – google earth, maps etc. This enables patterns of weather to be identified and measured of 4-10 days.
  • Media – watching news, documentaries etc

Fieldwork into profiling a place

Fieldwork and Research into profiling a place

What does profiling a place mean?

It is a short description which is sometimes accompanied by a fact file and photos which give us a taster into a place. Profiling an area tends to involve qualitative data rather than quantitative.

So what fieldwork and research can we do to achieve this?

Primary Research

Secondary Research

Environmental quality Survey

Census

Photo Panoramas

Upmystreet.com

Goad Maps

Blogs/Websites

Oral histories and interviews – Asking people about the services they are given and the quality of them. It is also a good idea to ask what recreational activities do in the local area.

Brochures and adverts

Look at the availability of the various goods such as handbags in the local area. Measuring on average how close a cashpoint is, is another indicator the economic profile of a place.

Placecheck – This is where a small number of locals (circa 12) assess the qualities of a place, focusing on what improvements need to be made and working together to achieve these.

Clone towns – A ‘clone town’ is a UK term for an area or street significantly dominated by ‘chain stores’ and restaurants. By examining whether a place is clone town or original we can produce an accurate profile of an area.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. What is profiling?

2. Name three secondary research techniques?

3. Name one Primary research technique and explain how it profiles a place.

4. What is a clone town? How can this help with profiling?

5. What is a placecheck?

SUGGESTED ANSWERS

1. Profiling is a short description of a place which is usually accompanied by photos and fact files to help recreate a feel of a place.

2. Upmystreet.com, Census 2001 and Blogs/websites

3. Taking photographs – they help create an image of a place and are usually used to accompany profiles

4. A clone town is an area which significantly affected by chain stores and restaurants. By examining whether a place is a clone town or has a unique identity we can get a feel of a place.

5. A placecheck is where small group of people set out and assess the qualities of a place and focus on what is good about the place and what can improve.

Fieldwork and Research: Urban Strategies

Fieldwork and research into urban strategies that have been used for rebranding

In the table below I look at Primary and Secondary methods to explore the strategies that have been implemented to rebrand an area. 

Strategies that have been implemented

Primary methods

Secondary methods

Flagship

Interviews – We could interview developers on what their plans are to construct and what they hope to achieve from it. We could record the conversation on electrical devices such as voice re cords. Then we could transcribe the interview and analyse what they said.

Notes – We could look at the notes of developers and constructers

Retail value survey- Flagship developments including shopping centres and department stores. So in a retail value survey we can examine the amount and types of shops in different areas of the urban area.

Footfalls-  This ties in with Retail value survey but here we look at the amount of people entering a shop. This helps us get some idea of how much money is being created by flagship developments like Selfridges in Manchester.

Building usage – By examining building usage we can explore what kind of flagships are being added and what already exist. 

ACORN/CAMEO and GIS

Both of this helps us get data on the socio-economic parts  of a town which is important when considering regeneration.

Housing

Questionnaires – Questioning local residents on this aspect of rebranding is extremely important.

Census – This can tell us data such as average number of person (s) per room, average rooms in a house etc.

Waterfront

Environmental quality –Waterfronts are used to take advantage of natural features to create a better environment. So these survey can help to see whether development of waterfronts are needed.

Goad maps – Through this we can compare natural features of the past to features of today.

Photos – This is another method is which we can see how well environmentally regeneration has done or whether it needs rebranding and what about waterfronts – are they in good condition?

Regional and cultural events

Clone towns- In rebranding it is easy to be temped to create a clone town. So by using cultural and regional events we can prevent this from happening. By just walking around the area we can figure whether it is a clone or original town.

Visitor surveys – Visitors who come for this unique regional / cultural event should complete form to find out whether they are good or need improving.

Websites and Blogs/forums 

Both internet forms of research can help us to find out about any regional or cultural events that are on and what people’s views are on this.

Using sport as a catalyst

Oral histories/interview – They can tell us what in their opinion is the impacts of using sport as a catalyst for rebranding.

Upmystreet.com – Like Census but the profile section can tell us how well a place has come on after using sport as a catalyst

Redevelopment in coastal region

Sphere of influence, Placecheck and

Create land use maps

All three help us to see how redevelopment has changed a coastal town like Blackpool and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the town.

Brochures/ leaflets – We can see what the area offers and see is it sufficient? 

Blogs/forum – This will tell us what people think about the experience the place offers.