A culture area is a region of the world in which people share similar cultural traits. Researchers may define a culture area by plotting the distribution of a single cultural trait, such as maize agriculture, and uniting all the communities that share this trait into a single cultural area. Alternatively, researchers sometimes choose to group communities into a culture area because the communities share several distinctive cultural traits, known as having a common cultural complex. Culture area analysis has been used widely in both anthropology and cultural geography because it facilitates comparisons between regions, assists in the historical reconstruction of cultural development, and lends itself to questions about the impact of the natural environment on the form of human cultures.