Analysis based on historical geographical information systems (hgis) databases can be used to trace the relationship between railway infrastructure and population change in Finland from 1880 to 1970. The use of accessibility calculations, statistical analyses, and gis reveals that Finland's population was almost evenly distributed in 1880, when railway development began, but that immigration to cities was well underway by 1970, when motorization by road was rapidly becoming the primary form of transportation.

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