1988 volume 20(12) pages 1645 – 1671

Cite as:
Birkin M, Clarke M, 1988, "SYNTHESIS -- a synthetic spatial information system for urban and regional analysis: methods and examples" Environment and Planning A 20(12) 1645 – 1671

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SYNTHESIS -- a synthetic spatial information system for urban and regional analysis: methods and examples

M Birkin, M Clarke

Received 10 August 1987; in revised form 26 February 1988

Abstract. There is a growing interest from a wide variety of sources in information pertaining to the characteristics of residents of small geographical areas together with their associated activity patterns. Reliance on the use of conventional aggregate data sources combined with the British Government's reluctance to make available microdata in the form of a public-use data set has restricted the type of questions analysts have been able to ask. The application of a methodology for generating synthetic microdata from a number of different aggregate sources is reported. The resultant information system can be used in a flexible manner to product distributions not currently available from aggregate sources. Additionally, the microdata form direct inputs into microsimulation models. The application described has been undertaken with Leeds Metropolitan District as the system of interest and a wide range of outputs is produced to illustrate the method.

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