Approach to commuting for work in the Laguna Merín rice complex (Uruguay) using location-allocation techniques with Flowmap
The spatial organisation of the Laguna Merín rice complex (Uruguay) presents a diversity of situations that condition the collective action of its wage-labour workers. In the context of a research on this social group, it was necessary to resort to location-assignment techniques to model the spatial relationship between the places of cultivation and the places of residence of the workers. The aim was to determine from the location of crops and potential residences - which had to be modelled - in which areas different situations arose, such as: commuting for work at a distance of more than one hour, cultivation areas with insufficient numbers of workers, the role of the different cities in the region, among others. Regular catchment area models were developed using the freely available software Flowmap in which potential residence points were assigned to the cultivation sites, with supply and demand quotas established on the basis of census data and a relative distance model (travel time). For the latter, some limitations of Flowmap and the data had to be overcome by using GRASS GIS and QGis. The paper presents in detail the methods, sources, data preparation and model results, preceded by a characterisation of the spatial organisation of the rice complex. In conclusion, the relevance of the data obtained for the original research context and possible avenues for further research (statistics and optimal catchment areas) are discussed.
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