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The Grid Square Statistics is one of the small area statistics which divides the whole area of Japan into small mesh based on latitudinal and longitudinal line.
Since the Grid Square Statistics enable us to seize actual situation by region in more detail under the same standard, it is widely used for the following purposes:
a) in the national and local governments, city planning, regional developments, disaster prevention and environmental programs, and antipollution measures;
b) in the private sector, the analysis of market and commercial area, academic research, etc;
Thus, the Grid Square Statistics are used in both public and private sector.
The Grid Square Statistics have the following advantages:
- The Grid Squares are segmented by almost the same size and shape of partition, so it is easy to measure and compare inter-Grid-Square characteristics.
- As the location and partition of the Grid Square is fixed, it is easy to compare regional characteristics in time-series without being affected by the change of administrative boundaries of local municipalities, or the change of demarcation of enumeration districts by geographical changes and so on.
- You can easily get the data on the area you need by adding the related Grid Square data up.
- As the Grid Squares are almost squarely partitioned by the longitude and latitude, you can identify the location easily and clearly, and analyze, calculate and compare the data about distance with ease.
Grid Square Method, that is the method to present statistical data by Grid Square, presents not only the statistical data but also the digitized data of administrative boundaries, roads, railroads, public facilities, cultural properties, etc. The Grid Square Statistics provide us more various uses by combining the statistical data with the digitized data.
However, there are some technical difficulties in compiling the Grid Square Statistics. Because the Grid Squares do not correspond with the tabulated small areas such as basic unit blocks or enumeration districts. The Grid Squares are demarcated by the longitude and latitude. On the other hand, the tabulated small areas are usually demarcated by geographical feature such as road, river, railway and so on. Therefore, the compilation of the Grid Squares is quite time-consuming and needs a lot of labor to maintain the accuracy of the data.
The Statistics Bureau has taken various countermeasures for a long time to improve the compilation work of the Grid Squares.