Table 6. Operational definitions for meaningful place characteristics.

Characteristics Operational definitions
Agriculture Elements important for agricultural production and practices
Attachment The emotional ties that make a space into a place (Altman and Low 1992)
Natural diversity The variety of all levels of life (Gaston and Spicer 2004)
Community People who share experiences and interact in the same places (Chavis et al. 1986)
Historical or cultural Trends that previously or presently impact or shape society (Jary and Jary 1991)
Outdoor recreation Activities such as hiking, running, back-country skiing, mushroom picking, bike-riding, hunting, fishing, motor-boating, and off-road vehicle recreation
Other recreation Activities such as going to the movies, shopping, and attending sporting events and music concerts
Parks and protected areas Areas under public or private ownership that are identified as important because they are preserved and/or managed
Private ownership Areas that are important because they are privately owned, such as homes, offices, and land
Sense of place Characteristics that define an area and turn a space into a place (Tuan 1974)
Topographical features Terrain or three-dimensional aspect of an area (Michigan Department of Information Technology Center for Geographic Information 2007)
Scenic views Vantage points providing visual perceptions of a landscape
Water Areas important as a water source

Indicates socially important meanings used in interdisciplinary analysis.