Reginald Golledge

1937 - 2008

Reginald Golledge, an internationally recognized scholar and a past President of the Association of American Geographers, died recently at the age of 71. Golledge served as Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara for more than three decades. The recipient of numerous national and international awards and honors, he was recently appointed to one of UCSB’s highest posts as faculty Research Lecturer. In announcing the award this past March, the UCSB Senate noted that Golledge had made “extraordinary contributions to science, and created at least three distinct subfields of geography” in the course of his career. Upon his passing, UCSB Chancellor Henry T. yang said, “We have lost a model teacher and a superb scholar” and called Golledge “a giant in his field.” Golledge received BA and MA degrees from the University of New England in Armidale, Australia (1958 and ‘61) and earned his PhD from the University of Iowa (1966). He served as a faculty member at the University of British Columbia (1965-66) and ohio State University (1966-77) before moving to the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1977. Golledge also served as a visiting professor at numerous institutions between 1967-76, including the University of California at Berkeley, UCLA, and the University of Texas. He was a founding member of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, which he helped lead to international prominence as chair (1980-84).

Golledge pioneered new approaches to the study of spatial cognition. In an interview with Nature magazine published in June of 2009, Golledge reflected on his contributions to the discipline of geography: “More than anything else, I think I opened the field’s eyes to the fact that the geography you carry in your mind, your mental map and the way you process spatial information, is equally as important as recording the facts of human existence on the surface of the Earth.” A founder of analytical behavioral geography and a substantial contributor to geography’s quantitative revolution, he pioneered many significant innovations to research in cognitive mapping, individual decision-making, theories of spatial learning, spatial choice modeling, and other areas throughout the course of his career. When a degenerative disease of the optic nerve caused Golledge to lose his eyesight in the early 1980s, he began an intense 25-year collaboration with two UCSB psychologists— Jack Loomis and Roberta klatzky— who began meeting with him weekly to read and discuss papers. In the Nature magazine interview, Golledge credited these meetings with allowing him to continue his academic career and take his work in a new direction as he turned his attention to the field of disabilities geography. Most recently, Golledge had been developing, along with colleagues at UCSB, a personal guidance system for people with limited vision and other disabilities, allowing them to navigate without the use of guide dogs or human assistance. Now under production by companies in several countries, this system is similar to vehicle guidance systems, utilizing GPS, electronic maps, and spatial databases. A prodigious scholar, Golledge published extensively in several fields, including geography, behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, and regional science. He wrote or edited 16 books, 100 chapters for other books. More than 140 of his papers have appeared in academic journals and other publications. Golledge served on the editorial boards of seven international journals, and was an editor of Geographical Analysis and the founding editor of Urban Geography. Golledge received many awards, honors and other accolades over the course of his career. These include the AAG Enhancing Diversity Award in 2008, AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors in 2007, and AAG Honors in 1981. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Regional Science Association International, and the Gilbert Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education. Golledge received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1987.At the University of California, Santa Barbara, he earned the outstanding Graduate Mentor Award. In recent years, he was presented with an honorary PhD by Goteborg University in Sweden, and an honorary law degree from Simon fraser University in Canada. Golledge was awarded the International Geography Gold Medal by the Institute of Australian Geographers in 2000. He was also a recipient of the Grosvenor Medal for Geographic Education. Golledge served as President of the Association of American Geographers 1999- 2000.

Reginald Golledge (Necrology). 2009. AAG Newsletter 44(8) 20.

Throughout his career, Reg Golledge turned vision into action, ideas into empirically tested outcomes. Few scholars develop new fields of inquiry in their discipline. Perhaps more than anyone, the name Golledge is synonymous with the subdiscipline of analytical behavioral geography. Reg was a lifetime proponent of its development, particularly through his research in spatial cognition and cognitive mapping and later into the wayfinding ability of people with disabilities. Along with a select group of scholars, 1 Golledge was a leading advocate of a spatial behavioral approach in wider social science research, but his contributions to the international literature also included many publications in broader fields of economic and urban geography, as well as more specialized areas, including disaggregate transportation modeling, individual decision making, household activity patterns, the acquisition and use of spatial knowledge across the life span, and the spatial concerns of disabled people. Importantly, Golledge’s research incorporated methodological innovation in the design of survey instruments and data collection in both field and laboratory situations.

Golledge’s research career had two distinct phases:

1.       Prior to the mid-1980s his work focused on aspects of human behavior within the city and on quantitative techniques appropriate for the study of such issues.

2.       When beset by blindness, from 1985 Golledge concerned himself with the problems encountered by disabled people in conducting their activities in city environments.

Collaboration was a hallmark of Golledge’s career, not just with fellow geographers but also with statisticians, educational psychologists, cognitive psychologists, cognitive scientists, developmental psychologists, economists, planners, regional scientists, transportation engineers, and computer and information scientists. Those collaborations spanned the globe, as did his many friendships. He also interacted extensively with the public and private sectors. 2

Advisor to a legion of graduate students, Golledge was generous with his time, serving as a valued mentor to his students and many young faculty from near and far, publishing papers with many of them. Over the last three decades, Golledge’s research won international renown and was recognized by many awards.

The Formative Years “Down Under”

Although most of his career was spent in the United States, to understand Golledge the man it is important to realize he was an Aussie. A “boy from the bush,” Reg was one of five children; his father was a railway worker. Born on 6 December 1937, in the small dairy town of Dungog in the lower Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia, Golledge grew up in a succession of country towns as the family moved frequently. He acquired a love of the outdoors, sports, and fishing, which he retained throughout his life.

After high school, Golledge studied for a BA at the University of New England (UNE), a small rural university in Armidale. Initially intending to major in history, he was enticed to study geography. With a BA with first-class honors in 1959, he then completed an MA in geography in 1961. Golledge also taught in the Geography Department as a senior demonstrator while studying for his master’s. 3

At UNE Golledge cut a dashing figure, as quite a “ladies’ man” as well as “one of the boys.” Possessing a great sense of humor, Reg was a keen practical joker and a more than usual drinker, doing the rounds of Armidale’s twelve pubs. He was something of an on-campus hero as captain of the Rugby First XV. 4 His competitiveness on the rugby field spilled over into other sports including tennis, squash, and darts. The same determination would drive his scholarly achievements.

In a collection of essays by antipodean geographers with a long association with the United States, Golledge (2007a) acknowledged the inspirational teaching and mentoring he received from the geographers at UNE, among them Ellis Thorpe, Ted Chapman, Eric Woolmington, Bob Smith, and Eugene Fitzpatrick.

Leaving Australia for New Zealand in 1961, Golledge was a lecturer for two years in the Geography Department at Christchurch’s University of Canterbury. There began a long association with geographers Leslie King and William Clark that continued after all three moved to the United States.

In those early years in Australia and New Zealand, Golledge’s research was embedded in economic and urban geography, including the following:

·         The functional role of Newcastle (a nonmetropolitan industrial city in New South Wales) and the development of rail freight traffic.

·         Development on Sydney’s urban–rural fringe.

·         The analysis of commodity flows and market areas.

·         Traffic patterns in Christchurch.

·         Spatial patterns of manufacturing (particularly brewing) in New Zealand.

Even at that formative stage of his career, Golledge’s research incorporated an implicit if not explicit concern for investigating the organization of spatial structures. In less than five years he published ten papers—including in Tijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie (Golledge 1962) and Economic Geography (Golledge 1963)—and two book chapters. Research for his first book (W. B. Johnston et al. 1965) was accomplished.

From “Down Under” to Iowa

In 1964 Golledge became part of the stream of antipodean geographers who ventured to the United States. In 1962 he met Harold McCarty when the American visited New Zealand. Golledge chose to pursue doctoral studies in geography at the University of Iowa. Studying under Ron Boyce, he received his PhD in 1996 for a thesis titled A Probabilistic Model of Market Behavior: With a Reference to the Spatial Aspects of Hog Marketing in Eastern Iowa.

Golledge quickly developed collaborations with other graduate students, including Gerard Rushton and Douglas Amedeo, with whom he published numerous papers and books over the years to come. Empirical investigations by Golledge, Rushton, and Clark found evidence supporting the contention that there were reciprocal relationships between behaviors and spatial structures, a theme underpinning most of Golledge’s future research. He explicitly addressed the notion that human spatial behavior reflected making decisions according to peoples’ perceptions of the world, not its reality. Behavior was certainly not optimal. Thus began Golledge’s transition from focusing on purely economic geography to incorporating considerations of consumer and producer behaviors.

Research collaborations at Iowa produced landmark papers on decision making and methodological innovations in analytical human geography, including research on the following:

·         Spatial characteristics of dispersed rural populations and their implications for the grouping of central place functions (Golledge, Rushton, and Clark 1966).

·         A normative model for the spatial allocation of expenditures in dispersed populations (Rushton, Golledge, and Clark 1967).

·         Set theory (Golledge and Amedeo 1966).

·         Conceptualizing the market decision process (Golledge 1967).

·         Spatial search, learning, and the market decision process (Golledge and Brown 1967).

·         The nature of laws in geography (Golledge and Amedeo 1968).

During the 1960s momentous innovation was occurring in geography, transforming the discipline into a scientific pursuit in which analysis in human geography embraced quantification and sophisticated statistical and spatial modeling. Golledge and his contemporaries thus became strong contributors to this “quantitative revolution,” which, incidentally, much later Golledge (2008) said he had always regarded as being “equally a theoretical revolution as a quantitative revolution” (239).

Retrospectively, Golledge (2008, 243) recounted that the new behavioral approaches developed in human geography were characterized by the following:

·         An emphasis on process rather than spatial form.

·         A focus on individual disaggregate behavior rather than on aggregate behavior required by most normative theories.

·         The use of primary data in empirical studies rather than dependence on aggregated secondary data.

·         The introduction of a variety of data collection techniques, including questionnaires and various types of mail, phone, and personal interview survey modes.

·         A requirement to use different analytical procedures not based on the normal curve and parametric data, including scaling and nonmetric analysis.

·         New theories using concepts derived from psychology, marketing, sociology, and anthropology.

New sources of data were needed because of the behavioral geographer’s concern with the following:

·         Enhancing understanding of the nature of decision making and choice behavior.

·         Investigating the influence of perceptions, preferences, attitudes, beliefs, values, and propensities for risk-taking on people’s spatial behavior.

·         Exploring the value of using a range of different information sources to understand how people use information.

The Ohio State Years

After a year as Assistant Professor in Geography at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in 1966–1967, Golledge joined the Geography Department at Ohio State University (OSU) as an assistant professor. He spent the next decade there, rising rapidly through the ranks to become full professor in 1971 at the age of thirty-four. At OSU Golledge’s work in analytical behavioral geography gathered an unstoppable momentum, winning a succession of competitive research grants. The publications literally flowed. Research collaborations not only built on those already formed but expanded to embrace the steady stream of graduate students as well as new collaborators among the faculty at OSU and elsewhere.

Kevin Cox and Golledge organized special sessions on behavioral approaches to geography at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). That 200-strong Environmental Perception and Behavioral Specialty Group remains active today.

Several major books were produced:

·         Behavioural Problems in Geography (Cox and Golledge 1969), the first book to explicitly address the emerging field of behavioral geography. A follow-up book (Cox and Golledge 1981) was translated into Japanese.

·         An Introduction to Scientific Reasoning in Geography (Amedeo and Golledge 1975).

·         Spatial Choice and Spatial Behavior (Golledge and Rushton 1976).

·         The reader Environmental Knowing: Theories, Research and Methods (Moore and Golledge 1976), a momentous tome providing interdisciplinary perspectives on behavior in multiple environmental settings.

·         The textbook Cities, Space and Behavior (King and Golledge 1978).

Of particular significance was the collaboration with Gerald Rushton investigating the nature of decision processes underlying overt behavior, demonstrating that “if we can understand how human minds process information from external environments and if we can determine what they process and use, then we can investigate how and why choices concerning those environments are made” (Golledge and Rushton 1976, viii).

Golledge’s massive research agenda also focused on developing new research designs for empirical analysis of decision-making processes and locational behaviors. Delving into theories of learning and cognition in psychology, he sought to furnish greater explanation of the underlying causes of the evolution of human spatial patterns particularly in large-scale urban environments.

Golledge pioneered innovations in the investigation of spatial cognition, in particular on cognitive mapping processes and characteristics of cognitive maps. The focus was on how to develop a greater understanding of peoples’ cognitive images of environments and on theories about how those knowledge structures are formed and how they change through people gaining more experience of their operational environments. In his anchor-point theory, Golledge proposed that spatial behavior in large-scale urban environments evolved through procedural knowledge and was related to a hierarchical ordering of locations such as landmarks, paths, and areas within the general spatial environment based on the relative significance of each to the individual (Golledge 19761978; revisited a decade later by Couclelis et al. 1987). The empirical context of this behavioral research extended beyond cognitive mapping, however, to embrace continuation of Golledge’s long-standing interest in consumer behavior.

Methodological complexities that Golledge confronted in his spatial cognition research necessitated methodological innovation in research design, data collection, measurement, and analysis. Golledge used tools new to spatial research in human geography, employing nonmetric uni- and multidimensional scaling methods and nonmetric hierarchical clustering techniques—tools developed largely in psychometrics—to infer spatial structures from information gained through survey data collected from small samples of subjects about their knowledge of their operational local urban environment. Methods were developed to compare recovered configurations characterized by distortions and fuzziness with some representation of objective reality (Golledge and Spector 1978). Those methodological innovations were discussed in a book by Golledge and Rayner (1982).

The program of pioneering research at OSU initiated by Golledge was particularly significant in building a bridge between human geography and psychology, attracting considerable attention from cognitive and environmental psychologists, as well as researchers in other areas of the social sciences, built environment, and design.

The Move West to Santa Barbara

In 1977, fellow Australian geographer, the late David Simonett, enticed Golledge and Waldo Tobler to move west to help rebuild the Geography Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). It was to develop into a powerhouse for scientific geography research. Golledge served as Department Chair from 1980 to 1984. He remained there for the rest of his life.

By now more than well established and internationally recognized as a leading proponent of analytical behavioral geography, particularly for his research in cognitive mapping, Golledge continued to build on the initiatives taken at OSU, but his research diversified through new collaborations.

Perhaps the most exciting was his collaboration with Larry Hubert, then a professor in the College of Education at UCSB. It produced a series of papers in which the authors searched for principles measuring order in spatial data. The importance of that work is reflected in a classic paper in Geographical Analysis explaining and measuring spatial autocorrelation (Hubert, Golledge, and Costanzo 1981). Randomization procedures were used to produce reference distributions describing the relationships that might be expected in the data if spatial order was not present. It was timely that this work coincided with the availability of increasing computing capability, making it practical to produce the reference distributions. That became a foundation in methods in spatial analysis for understanding many geographical distributions where events that occur with defined likelihoods and outcomes vary stochastically but are consistent with the priors that are consistent with theoretical norms. That research was acknowledged by the AAG’s 1981 Honors Award.

Another important collaboration produced the book Behavioural Modelling in Geography and Planning (Golledge and Timmermans 1988), as well as several papers. It focused on applications of the spatial investigation of consumer behavior in planning, reflecting a long-standing interest. In the early 1980s, Golledge undertook a major investigation on this topic for the State Government of Victoria in Australia to guide the development of a retail planning strategy for Melbourne and the State.

Further collaborations involved research embracing the integration of emerging geographic information systems (GIS) technology—in which the Geography Department at UCSB was a leader—into behavioral modeling in transport studies and other forms of human spatial behavior, including research using computational process modeling to investigate individual activity and wayfinding behaviors and the design of driver decision support systems. Later, the book Spatial and Temporal Reasoning in Geographic Information Systems (Egenhofer and Golledge 1998) showed how GIS could enhance the application of spatial theory.

Blindness Strikes But a New Research Thrust Emerges

In 1984–1985 tragedy struck. Golledge became legally blind, losing sight first in one eye and then in the other eye less than a year later. For most academics that would likely have ended a research and teaching career, but determined and very proud, Reg staged an amazing rebound to develop a new research thrust, bringing to bear his knowledge of spatial learning and cognition to address the wayfinding capabilities of the blind in particular and of people with disabilities in general.

In an interview for the magazine Nature (“Career View” 2009, 877), Golledge recalled the potential devastation he faced as follows:

After I lost my sight, I was completely lost. I had no idea how I was going to teach without access to notes, prepared lectures, or overheads. Figuring out how to continue my research was even more difficult. One day, two psychologists—Jack Loomis and Roberta Klatzky, both then at UCSB—asked if they could help. Roberta suggested I find ways to build on my previous mental-map research. They agreed to meet with me weekly and discuss papers. That began 25 years of intense collaboration, which took my research in a new direction towards dissecting spatial cognition. In the process, I became more competent and was able to continue my academic life, while helping other blind people around the world.

The long and highly productive collaboration with Loomis and Klatzky and their multiple graduate students was still ongoing when Reg died.

In a paper in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Golledge (1997) discussed the struggle through which he was to transform adversity into what became a stunning continuation of an already outstanding, successful academic career. The successes achieved were later discussed in a contribution (Golledge 2002c) to the book Geographical Voices edited by Gould and Pitts.

On the succession of innovations involving Golledge and his collaborators, Rushton (2009) gave this account:

Soon [Golledge] was writing on “wayfinding” and route selection, and developing haptic soundscapes for blind users to access computer screen imagery. He spoke at international conferences on “Navigation without sight,” “Navigation aids for the blind,” “Analysis of navigation without sight,” “Spatial cognition of the blind and visually impaired,” and “Auditory maps as alternatives to tactual maps.” … 10 years later he was writing professionally about the problems academics confront when facing blindness.

The book Wayfinding Behavior: Cognitive Mapping and Other Spatial Processes (Golledge 1999b) provided a comprehensive overview of the research Golledge pursued for which he perhaps became most renowned. Work at UCSB also produced new conceptual frameworks for a general theory of spatial knowledge (Golledge 1990).

Much of the research involved developing new experimental research designs, sometimes in laboratory settings, and depended on rapidly evolving innovations in GIS and Global Positioning System (GPS), as demonstrated in papers such as the following:

·         Golledge et al. (1998) on a GPS-based personal guidance system for the blind.

·         Albert and Golledge (1999) on map overlays in GIS to investigate spatial abilities.

·         Rice et al. (2005) on haptic and auditory map interfaces.

There was also research into sex and gender in biases in cognitive mapping (Self et al. 1992; Self and Golledge2000) and on children’s spatial knowledge acquisition (Golledge et al. 1992).

The copious output from Golledge’s research agenda spanning two decades after becoming blind produced an impressive array of book chapters and articles in a long list of leading journals in numerous disciplines:

·         In geography, spatial science, and GIS: Applied Geographic Studies, The Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Geographical Analysis, Journal of Geography, The Irish Geographer, Geographical Systems, The Professional Geographer, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Environment and Behavior, Progress in Human Geography, International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, Transactions in GIS, and Cartography and Geographic Information Science.

·         In psychology: Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning and Memory Cognition, Psychological Science Learning and Memory, and Behavior Research Methods.

·         In health: Perception and Psychophysics, Optometry and Vision Science, Experimental Brain Research, the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness.

·         In engineering and computation science: Spatial Cognition and Computation, Transactions of the Institute of Electronics, Information, and Communications Engineers A, and Teleoperators and Virtual Environments.

·         In transportation: Transport Research Record and Transportation Research B.

Synthesizing and Defending Analytical Behavioral Geography

Important aspects of Golledge’s writings were periodic attempts to provide a synthesis appraisal of the state of the development of analytical behavioral geography. An early piece was in The Australian Geographer (Golledge, Brown, and Williamson 1972). Subsequent review papers and chapters looked back and forward in appraising the evolution of behavioral approaches in human geography (Golledge and Rushton 1984; Golledge and Timmermans 1990a1990b; Golledge 1999a2003b20052008; Cox and Golledge 2002; Amedeo and Golledge 2003).

By the late 1970s, some sustained criticisms of analytical behavioral geography had emerged (see, for example, Olsson 1969; Cullen 1976; Bunting and Guelke 1979; Thrift 1980; Jensen-Butler 1981; Billinge 1983; R. J. Johnston 1989). They came mainly from proponents of social theory and political economy approaches in human geography and particularly from Marxist geographers. The critiques did the following:

·         Launched challenges on epistemological grounds.

·         Attacked its logical positivist roots and the scientific paradigm in which it operates.

·         Accused it of being ontologically deficient.

·         Castigated its supposed lack of concern for tackling social problems and addressing political considerations and power relations.

·         Questioned its methodological and philosophical positions relating to macro- and microscale issues and the geographical inference problem.

There were criticisms also being levied against the scientific thrust that had become well embedded in analytical human geography developed through the “quantitative revolution” in general as much as criticisms against behavioral geography per se. Later there was renewed criticism from postmodernist human geographers (again mainly from Britain) who basically eschewed the scientific model of inquiry.

It is significant that throughout his career Golledge refused to be distracted by the various “-isms” that diverted so many human geographers from the mid-1970s, many of whom were to scorn the scientific method embedded in analytical human geography. He was voluble and direct, however, in providing detailed, clinical rebuttals of behavioral geography’s critics (Golledge 19811996), pointing out that many of the criticisms were fundamentally flawed, reflected confusion about the difference between perception and cognition, lacked understanding of the difference between behavioral and behaviorist, and displayed confusion about Gould’s mental map idea that represented “revealed space preferences” and were not cognitive maps.

In one response, Couclelis and Golledge (1983) argued that embedded in analytic behavioral geography were important ideas of enduring value, including a reliance on logico-mathematical structures and an ‘‘insistence upon open, public inter-subjective tests of knowledge by continuous reference to experience” (334). They showed how analytical behavioral geography had evolved to transcend its roots to provide a set of fundamental principles from which to study human spatial behavior, the object being to find valid general statements about behaviors in spatial settings.

The textbook Analytical Behavioural Geography (Golledge and Stimson 1987) was the first truly comprehensive overview of the field, which Rushton (2009) noted, “takes the reader through the tenets of behavioral approaches to human geography, principles of spatial cognition, theories of learning, daily activity patterns, spatial choice models, migration in a behavioral context, and residential location decision making.”

Golledge and Stimson (1987) asserted, “Research requiring an analytical mode has produced the greatest academic and applied knowledge contributions in the entire area of behavioral research in geography. We also believe that it is this research that has been most widely accepted, referenced, and used by our peers in other disciplines” (i).

Years later, Argent and Walmsley (2009) suggested that that view had turned out to be correct. It was, in fact, demonstrated by Golledge and Stimson (1997) in their revised and expanded book, Spatial Behavior: A Geographic Perspective, in which they showed how analytical approaches—including the mathematical modeling and computational models investigating human spatial behavior in relation to social issues—had become a widespread focus of geographical research. Certainly that had been so in the vast research agenda undertaken by Golledge and his collaborators investigating spatial abilities of people with disabilities, a summary of which was included in the 1997 textbook.

The book Person–Environment–Behavior Research: Investigating Activities and Experiences in Spaces and Environments(Amedeo, Golledge, and Stimson 2009), published a few months before Golledge died, provides a synthesis of a range of analytical research approaches investigating spatial behavior. Golledge’s contributions were on research design and data collection issues, plus a number of case studies highlighting how his research has addressed empirical studies investigating intellectually challenged people interacting with their environment, the spatial competence of blind and visually impaired people when performing activities in different spaces, sex roles and the gendering of activities and spaces, and reflecting the nature of cognitive spaces from perceived relations.

Outstanding Scholarship, Promoting Geographic Education, and Dedicated Service Attracts Accolades and Honors

Golledge accumulated a curriculum vitae spanning more than seventy single-spaced pages. It includes sixteen books, more than 330 articles (including two in press and four submitted), almost 300 conference presentations, and several hundred monographs, reports, and conference papers. It lists a multitude of administrative posts held and committees on which he served.

In addition to his long involvement (including being editor) in Geographical Analysis, Golledge was a founding editor of Urban Geography, and served on the Editorial Boards of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, The Professional Geographer, Tijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Australian Geographical Studies (now Geographical Research), Environment and Behavior, and The Journal of Spatial Cognition and Computation. He was a reviewer for many journals in numerous disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields, as well as for the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice, National Institutes of Health, Canada Council, Australian Research Council, and European Science Foundation. He served on national research grants committees, the AAG Honors Committee, and the AAG Program Committee (three times). In 1998–1999 Golledge was elected Vice President of the AAG and then President for 1999–2000.

Golledge accumulated a staggering number of national and international awards and accolades, including these:

·         Honorary Lifetime Membership and the International Gold Medal of the Institute of Australian Geographers

·         Academic Honors, the lifetime Achievement, and the Enhancing Diversity Awards of the AAG

·         Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Regional Science Association International

·         A Guggenheim Fellowship

·         University of Iowa Distinguished Academic Alumni Award

·         U.S. Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Researcher of the Year Award

·         Southwest Texas State University Grosvenor Medal for Geographic Education

·         Honorary doctorates from Simon Fraser University and the University of Gothenburg

Golledge received a rare distinction when asked to contribute—as a geographer—to the prestigious Encyclopedia of Psychological Assessment (Golledge 2003a), outlining his contribution to research on cognitive mapping and cognitive maps. He also contributed a piece on the open door of GIS to the Handbook on Environmental Psychology (Golledge2002b).

Golledge was a powerful advocate for geographers to focus greater attention on communicating their research on the nature of spatial thinking and demonstrating how to go about matching geospatial concepts with geographic educational needs (Golledge 2002a2007b; Marsh, Golledge, and Battersby 2007; Golledge, Marsh, and Battersby2008a2008b). He also advocated greater community outreach by geographers and espoused the role that geographers can play in society (Golledge 2004a2004b2004c2004d). He was particularly adroit at identifying the big issues facing the discipline (Cutter, Golledge, and Graf 20022005).

In 2009 Golledge was selected to give the UCSB Faculty Research Lecture, the highest honor UCSB bestows on its faculty. 5 In an interview for the Career View page in Nature magazine (published on 11 June 2009), a science journalist asked Reg, “What does this faculty award mean to you?” to which his modest answer was, “This is the best because it is given from your peers. It is so nice to know that what I’ve been doing has not gone unnoticed” (877).


In his Post-Presidential Address to the AAG in 2002, Golledge noted that his lifetime research was stimulated by trying to find answers to questions of how and why geographers think the way they do, a shift from their traditional focus on “what” and “where” questions. He thought the greatest changes in the nature of geographic knowledge in the past half-century had been the following:

1.       Recognition of the difference between the acts of accumulating geographic facts and representing the spatial form embedded in those facts and understanding the processes involved in understanding and analyzing those facts to produce new information and knowledge that is not directly observed during data gathering.

2.       The development of spatially relevant theories about the location, arrangement, and distribution of geographic phenomena and the spatial interactions among both physical and human components of those phenomena.

He said:

I believe that geographic knowledge is concept-rich, has a substantial theoretical base, is replete with distinct analytic forms (both qualitative and quantitative), lends itself to graphic, cartographic, and other forms of geo-representation, and is imbued with knowledge derived from using place-specific reasoning to integrate components of its physical and human domains.

In their review of behavioral approaches in human geography, Argent and Walmsley (2009) conclude thus:

Behavioral geography produced epistemologically well founded, grounded research that focused on the rich variety of human behavior. It highlighted the experiential, recognized the complexity of behavior, and accepted the need for interdisciplinary discourse. In particular it came to recognize that humans are social animals with shared but contested interrelations of their surroundings. Behavioural geography was not a fad that went out of fashion. Rather it can be argued that it represents an evolutionary stage—a behavioural stage—which has enriched the discipline of geography. Behavioural geography did not wither and die away … it became absorbed into the mainstream of geography. (202)

Golledge can be credited as leading that charge to achieve that outcome.

A major contributor to enhancing geographic knowledge, through his copious writings Golledge will inform and inspire students of our discipline for generations to come. Through his remarkable career he became an intellectual giant in our discipline.

During the last quarter-century of his life Golledge suffered and overcame a succession of debilitating and even life-threatening illnesses, but he never complained, seemingly becoming even more determined to overcome each successive setback. His attitude toward life was aptly summed up in a comment in an interview for Nature magazine not long before he died. When asked “What is your motto?” Reg’s retort was, “You don’t have to have sight to have vision.” I have taken the liberty to use that profound and humble statement as the title for this memorial. It is engraved on the tombstone on Reg’s grave.


On the evening of 29 May 2009, Reginald George Golledge, above-scale Professor of Geography in the Geography Department at the University of California Santa Barbara, passed away at his home in Goleta after enduring a long series of illnesses. He was 71. Golledge was an intellectual giant in his field.


1. That included fellow geographers Torsten Hagerstrand, Julian Wolpert, Peter Gould, and Roger Downs, and psychologist David Stea.

2. That included state governments and transportation planning agencies in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, and West Australia in Australia; the National Government of The Netherlands; and private firms in Japan, Canada, and the United States.

3. It was 1960 as a first-year student at UNE when I met Reg Golledge and was taught by him. He was the moral tutor in charge of a small group of male students living in the townhouse “Esrom” in Armidale.

4. He was the proud editor of the “University Rugby Club Song Book,” which, he would nostalgically recall, was his cherished first and arguably most popular publication but one that a publishing house could not possibly print for fear of prosecution!

5. He was scheduled to give the public lecture later in the year, but death intervened.


1. Albert, S. C. and Golledge, R. G. 1999. The use of spatial cognitive abilities in geographical information systems: The map overlay operation. Transactions in GIS, 3: 7–21.

·         2. Amedeo, D. and Golledge, R. G. 1975. An introduction to scientific reasoning in geography., New York: Wiley.

·         3. Amedeo, D. and Golledge, R. G. 2003. “Environmental perception and behavioral geography”. In Geography in America at the dawn of the 21st century, Edited by: Gaile, G. and Willmott, C. 133–48. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

·         4. Amedeo, D., Golledge, R. G. and Stimson, R. J. 2009. Person-environment-behavior research: Investigating activities and experiences in spaces and environments, New York: Guilford.

·         5. Argent, N. M. and Walmsley, D. J. 2009. From the inside looking out and the outside looking in: Whatever happened to “behavioural geography?”. Geographical Research, 47(2): 192–203.

·         6. Billinge, M. 1983. The Mandarin dialect: An essay on style in contemporary geographical writing. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 8: 400–420.

·         7. Bunting, T. E. and Guelke, L. 1979. Behavioral and perception geography: A critical appraisal. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 69: 448–62.

·         8. Career View. 2009. Nature, 459: 877

·         9. Couclelis, H. and Golledge, R. 1983. Analytic research, positivism, and behavioral geography. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 73: 331–39.

·         10. Couclelis, H., Golledge, R. G., Gale, N. and Tobler, W. 1987. Exploring the anchor-point hypothesis of spatial cognition. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 7(2): 99–122.

·         11. Cox, K. R. and Golledge, R. G., eds. 1969. Behavioral problems in geography: A symposium, Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

·         12. Cox, K. R. and Golledge, R. G., eds. 1981. Behavioral problems in geography revisited., New York: Methuen.

·         13. Cox, K. R. and Golledge, R. G. 2002. “Behavioral models in geography”. In The spaces of postmodernity: Readings in human geography, Edited by: Dear, M. J. and Flusty, S. 46–51. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

·         14. Cullen, L. 1976. Human geography, regional science, and the study of individual behavior. Environment and Planning A, 8: 379–409.

·         15. Cutter, S. L., Golledge, R. G. and Graf, W. L. 2002. The big questions in geography. The Professional Geographer, 54(3): 305–17.

·         16. Cutter, S. L., Golledge, R. G. and Graf, W. L. 2005. “The big questions in geography”. In Annual editions, geography, 20th ed, Edited by: Pitzl, G. R. 2–10. Dubuque, IA: McGraw Hill/Dushkin.

·         17. Egenhofer, M. J. and Golledge, R. G., eds. 1998. Spatial and temporal reasoning in geographic information systems., New York: Oxford University Press.

·         18. Golledge, R. G. 1962. Observations on the urban pattern and functional role of Newcastle, NSW. Tijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 53: 72–78.

·         19. Golledge, R. G. 1963. A geographical analysis of Newcastle’s rail freight traffic. Economic Geography, 39(1): 60–73.

·         20. Golledge, R. G. 1967. Conceptualizing the market decision process. Journal of Regional Science, 7: 239–58.

·         21. Golledge, R. G. 1976. Cognitive configuration of a city: Vol. I, II., Columbus: Ohio State University, Department of Geography, OSU Research Foundation.

·         22. Golledge, R. G. 1978. Representing, interpreting and using cognized environments. Papers and Proceedings of the Regional Science Association, 41: 169–204.

·         23. Golledge, R. G. 1981. Misconceptions, misinterpretations, and misrepresentations of behavioral approaches in human geography. Environment and Planning A, 13: 1325–44.

·         24. Golledge, R. G. 1990. “The conceptual and empirical basis of a general theory of spatial knowledge”. In Spatial choices and processes, Edited by: Fischer, M. M., Nijkamp, P. and Papageorgiou, Y. Y. 147–68. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

·         25. Golledge, R. G. 1996. A response to Gleeson and Imrie. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 21: 404–11.

·         26. Golledge, R. G. 1997. On reassembling one’s life: Overcoming disability in the academic environment. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 15: 391–409.

·         27. Golledge, R. G. 1999a. Looking back and looking forward. Geographical Analysis, 31(4): 318–23.

·         28. Golledge, R. G. 1999b. Wayfinding behavior: Cognitive mapping and other spatial processes., Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

·         29. Golledge, R. G. 2002a. The nature of geographic knowledge. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 92(1): 1–14.

·         30. Golledge, R. G. 2002b. “The open door of GIS”. In Handbook of environmental psychology, Edited by: Bechtel, R. B.and Churchman, A. 244–55. New York: Wiley.

·         31. Golledge, R. G. 2002c. “You don’t have to have sight to have vision”. In Geographical voices, Edited by: Gould, P. and Pitts, F. R. 124–48. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

·         32. Golledge, R. G. 2003a. “Cognitive maps”. In Encyclopedia of psychological assessment: Vol. 1, Edited by: Fernandez-Ballesteros, R. 223–27. London: Sage.

·         33. Golledge, R. G. 2003b. Reflections on recent cognitive behavioural research with an emphasis on research in the United States of America. Australian Geographical Studies, 41(2): 117–30.

·         34. Golledge, R. G. 2004a. “Community outreach, October 1999”. In Presidential musings from the meridian: Reflections on the nature of geography by past presidents of the Association of American Geographers, Edited by: Nellis, M. D., Monk, J. and Cutter, S. L. 50–54. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press.

·         35. Golledge, R. G. 2004b. “Moving on up to “the big time?”. In Presidential musings from the meridian: Reflections on the nature of geography by past presidents of the Association of American Geographers, Edited by: Nellis, M. D., Monk, J. and Cutter, S. L. 176–77. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press.

·         36. Golledge, R. G. 2004c. “NEVER be ashamed of being a geographer”. In Presidential musings from the meridian: Reflections on the nature of geography by past presidents of the Association of American Geographers, Edited by: Nellis, M. D., Monk, J. and Cutter, S. L. 221–24. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press.

·         37. Golledge, R. G. 2004d. “Using our human resources”. In Presidential musings from the meridian: Reflections on the nature of geography by past presidents of the Association of American Geographers, Edited by: Nellis, M. D., Monk, J. and Cutter, S. L. 105–09. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press.

·         38. Golledge, R. G. 2005. “Philosophical bases of behavioral research in geography”. In Approaches to human geography, Edited by: Aitken, S. and Valentine, G. 75–85. London: Sage.

·         39. Golledge, R. G. 2007a. “Building on the down under experience”. In North American explorations: Ten memoirs of geographers from Down Under, Edited by: King, L. J. 18–35. Victoria, BC, Canada: Trafford.

·         40. Golledge, R. G. 2007b. Educating an applied geographer. Research in Geographic Education, 9(1): 45–55.

·         41. Golledge, R. G. 2008. Behavioral geography and the theoretical/quantitative revolution. Geographical Analysis, 40(3): 239–58.

·         42. Golledge, R. G. and Amedeo, D. 1966. Some introductory notes on regional division and set theory. The Professional Geographer, 18(1): 14–19.

·         43. Golledge, R. G. and Amedeo, D. 1968. On laws in geography. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 58(4): 760–74.

·         44. Golledge, R. G. and Brown, L. A. 1967. Search, learning, and the market decision process. Geografiska Annaler B: Human Geography, 49: 116–24.

·         45. Golledge, R. G., Brown, L. and Williamson, F. 1972. Behavioral approaches in geography: An overview. Australian Geographer, 12(1): 59–79.

·         46. Golledge, R. G., Gale, N., Pellegrino, J. W. and Doherty, S. 1992. Spatial knowledge acquisition by children: Route learning and relational distances. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 82(2): 223–44.

·         47. Golledge, R. G., Klatzky, R. L., Loomis, J. M., Speigle, J. and Tietz, J. 1998. A geographical information system for a GPS based personal guidance system. International Journal of Geographic Information Science, 12: 727–49.

·         48. Golledge, R., Marsh, M. and Battersby, S. E. 2008a. A conceptual framework for facilitating spatial thinking. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 98(2): 285–308.

·         49. Golledge, R., Marsh, M. and Battersby, S. E. 2008b. Matching geospatial concepts with geographic educational needs. Geographic Research, 46(1): 85–98.

·         50. Golledge, R. G. and Rayner, J. N., eds. 1982. Proximity and preference: Problems in the multidimensional analysis of large data sets, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

·         51. Golledge, R. G. and Rushton, G. 1976. Spatial choice and spatial behavior., Columbus: Ohio State University Press.

·         52. Golledge, R. G. and Rushton, G. 1984. “A review of analytic behavioural research in geography”. In Geography in the urban environment: Progress in research and applications: Vol., Edited by: Herbert, D. T. and Johnston, R. J. Vol. VI, 1–43. New York: Wiley.

·         53. Golledge, R. G., Rushton, G. and Clark, W. A. V. 1966. Some spatial characteristics of Iowa’s dispersed farm population and their implications for the grouping of central place functions. Economic Geography, 42(3): 261–72.

·         54. Golledge, R. G. and Spector, A. 1978. Comprehending the urban environment: Theory and practice. Geographical Analysis, 10: 403–26.

·         55. Golledge, R. G. and Stimson, R. 1987. Analytical behavioural geography., London: Croom Helm.

·         56. Golledge, R. G. and Stimson, R. 1997. Spatial behavior: A geographic perspective, New York: Guilford.

·         57. Golledge, R. G. and Timmermans, H., eds. 1988. Behavioural modelling in geography and planning., London: Croom Helm.

·         58. Golledge, R. G. and Timmermans, H. 1990a. Applications of behavioural research on spatial problems I: Cognition. Progress in Human Geography, 14(1): 57–99.

·         59. Golledge, R. G. and Timmermans, H. 1990b. Applications of behavioral research on spatial problems II: Preference and choice. Progress in Human Geography, 14(3): 311–54.

·         60. Hubert, L. J., Golledge, R. G. and Costanzo, C. M. 1981. Generalized procedures for evaluating spatial autocorrelation. Geographical Analysis, 13: 224–33.

·         61. Jensen-Butler, C. 1981. A critique of behavioral geography: An epistemological analysis of cognitive mapping and of Haggerstrand’s time-space model (Arbejdsrapport No. 12), Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University, Department of Geography.

·         62. Johnston, R. J. 1989. “Philosophy, ideology and geography”. In Horizons in human geography, Edited by: Gregory, D. and Walford, R. 48–66. London: Macmillan.

·         63. Johnston, W. B., Golledge, R. G., King, L. J. and Williman, A., eds. 1965. Traffic in a New Zealand city, Christchurch, New Zealand: Christchurch Regional Planning Authority.

·         64. King, L. J. and Golledge, R. G. 1978. Cities, space and behavior., Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

·         65. Marsh, M., Golledge, R. and Battersby, S. E. 2007. Geospatial concept understanding and recognition in G6-college students: A preliminary argument for minimal GIS. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 97(4): 696–712. 66. Moore, G. T. and Golledge, R. G., eds. 1976. Environmental knowing: Theories, research and methods, Stroudsburg, PA: Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross.

·         67. Olsson, G. 1969. “Inference problems in locational analysis”. In Behavioral problems in geography: A symposium, Edited by: Cox, K. R. and Golledge, R. G. 14–34. Evanston, IL: Northwestern Studies in Geography.

·         68. Rice, M., Jacobson, R. D., Golledge, R. G. and Jones, D. 2005. Design considerations for haptic and auditory map interfaces. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 32: 381–91.

·         69. Rushton, G. and Golledge, R. G. 2009. International encyclopedia of human geography, Edited by: Kitchin, R. and Thrift, N. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

·         70. 389–400. Rushton, G., G. R. Golledge, and W. A. V. Clark. 1967. Formulation and testing of a normative model for the spatial allocation of grocery expenditures by a dispersed population. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 57 (2)

·         71. Self, C. M. and Golledge, R. G. 2000. Sex, gender, and cognitive mapping. Cognitive mapping: Past, present, and future, ed. R. Kitchin and S. Freundscuh, 197–220. London and New York: Routledge

·         72. Self, C. M., Gopal, S., Golledge, R. G. and Fenstermaker, S. 1992. Gender-related differences in spatial abilities. Progress in Human Geography, 16(3): 315–42.

·         73. Thrift, N. J. 1980. “Behavioral geography: Paradigm in search of a paradigm”. In Quantitative methods in Britain: Retrospect and prospect, Edited by: Bennett, R. and Wrigley, N. 1–30. London and New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Stimson, Robert J. “You Don’t Need Sight to Have Vision: Reginald G. Golledge Was a Giant in Analytical Human Geography.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102, no. 1 (2012): 234-243.