The modifiable areas unit problem

ESPON Scientific Support Project 3.4.3

Thematic scope and context

The Modifiable Areas Unit Problem (MAUP) has been recognized since the 1970s. The cartographical pattern of spatial distribution of variables or the level of correlation between two variables distributed in space can be completely modified according to the level of aggregation of spatial units or more generally the spatial grid used for collecting and presenting spatial information.

The validation of the best solution to the MAUP is addressed in this ESPON Scientific Support Project and will be organized in a two-step approach. In the first step, methods will be applied to small parts of the European territory where it is possible to measure precisely the strengths or weaknesses of each solution. It is only in the second step, that the methods will be applied to the whole territory of the ESPON space. The aim of the study is thus to provide input for improving the spatial analysis in current ESPON studies and future research in the field. With regard to this, the key issue is the assessment of the possible policy acceptance of an improved spatial analysis

Lead Partner

Université Paris 7, UMS 2414 RIATE, CNRS, DATAR (France).
Detailed information on the contracted project team under Transnational Project Groups.


Final Report

  • Acrobat Document | 10.49MB

1st Interim Report

  • Acrobat Document | 13.80MB


  • Acrobat Document | 1.62MB

Terms of Reference

  • Acrobat Document | 21KB