We have published a paper in a special issue on laws in geography in the Annals of GIS!
Kedron, Peter and Joseph Holler. 2022. “Replication and the search for the laws in the geographic sciences.” Annals of GIS, 28(1), 45-56. doi:10.1080/19475683.2022.2027011.
In this article, we reflect on the role of replication studies in developing generalizable theories. We consider how two laws of geography complicate attempts to establish theory generalizable across geographic space. Tobler’s first law of geography—the spatial dependence of geographic phenomena—suggests that geographically proximate replications of prior studies cannot independently test the claims of those studies. A second law of geography—spatial local heterogeneity—suggests that it may be difficult to replicate the claims of a prior study in another geographic location because of the uniqueness of place. The interplay between these two laws and our attempts to establish generalizable theory suggest that most theory in geography will be contingent upon geographic context, and that geographic researchers will need to carefully design replication studies to describe the geographic conditions in which a theory may be expected to be true.