Rural Settlement Patterns on Topographic Maps

The Pattern of human settlement of rural areas has two separate but related components: The way in which the land is divided among its owners and the way in which the owners arrage buildings on their land. This page identifies several examples of distinctive patterns of rural buildings. You must use caution though because the form of a rural settlement usually reflects its first use--but remember a structure can change through time. For example a string of cottages along a rural lake can become permanent homes of commuters if a new employer locates nearby or a new highway provides easier access to an urban area. In this manner, nearly every rural settlement form on this page can change its function. Look at the rest of the map sheet for clues about those factors that can influence the use of buildings.

 

Click on each diagram for a detailed explanation

Dispersed Houses
Clusters
Strings
Waystations
Sprawl
Rips
Resorts