Delineation Of Functional Regions
- This method involves the grouping together of units which display a considerable degree of interdependence.
- Two basic approaches: (i) Flow analysis- based on actual observations of what people do. (ii) Gravitational analysis- based on theoretical observations of what they might do.
- The two approaches are explained below in detail.
A. Flow Analysis Method
- Builds up flows on the basis of the direction and intensity flows between the dominant center and surrounding satellites.
- Flows may be of several types: economic (road, rail, shopping or commuting); social (such as flow of students or patients); political (flow of govt. expenditure); information (newspapers, telephone calls), etc.
- Graph theory: measures the relationship (economic, social, etc) between selected group of centers on the basis of flows between the centers. The no. of telephone calls is the usual flow criteria.
- The flows are plotted in matrix form, from which primary and secondary flows into and out of each center can be identified.
B. Gravitational Analysis Method
- It is concerned with the theoretical forces of attraction between centers rather than the actual flows.
- This model assumes that the interaction between two centers is directly proportional to the ‘mass’ of centers and inversely proportional to the ‘distance’ between them.
- ‘Mass’ is represented by variables like population, employment, income, expenditure and retail turnover.
- ‘Distance’ is represented in physical terms (miles), time, price and intervening opportunities.
- By calculating the potential for the centers, lines illustrating relative attractiveness, spheres of influence of various centers can be plotted on a map.
- From such lines, functional regions can be identified.