The effects of the MAUP and ecological fallacy when investigating the distribution and affecters of the number of hoax calls in Portsmouth, from 2000 to 2005

Sheppard, Daniel S. (2006) The effects of the MAUP and ecological fallacy when investigating the distribution and affecters of the number of hoax calls in Portsmouth, from 2000 to 2005. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Background Between the years of 2000 and 2004 Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service received 884 hoax calls from Portsmouth, at a cost of £221,884. Each hoax call also ties up fire crews which could otherwise be saving lives. Although some fire brigades are now starting to analyse hoax call data there are no studies investigating the factors influencing them. Due to the necessary use of spatial data, two fundamental problems arise; the ecological fallacy and MAUP. Aims To investigate the geographic distribution and variables affecting numbers of hoax calls in Portsmouth and to use the study as an experiment to investigate the effects of the ecological fallacy and MAUP on the results and illustrate and warn of the ramifications of using such data in research. Method This study uses GIS and spatial data along with traditional statistical analysis techniques and 2001 Census derived statistics spatially analyse the data. The same procedure is repeated for 4 geographic areal units in order to compare the results and distinguish any differences between them. Findings Central findings are that numbers of full-time students aged 18-74 and levels of male unemployment have a positive correlation with numbers of hoax calls. Contrasting results have also been shown between the spatial and statistical analyses. Furthermore results were found to significantly alter across the geographic levels. The paper concludes that GIS and spatial data are key assets to analysing geographic phenomena and that the ecological fallacy and MAUP have profound effects on the results of studies which use spatial data and hence should be studied closely along side them.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/222

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