Let me cite excerpts from the GeoDA-Gloassary (https://geodacenter.asu.edu/node/390)

Spatial regimes:

Spatial regimes are a form of spatial heterogeneity, which implies structural differences across space. When a variable is characterized by distinct distributions (e.g., with a different mean or variance) for different geographic subregions, these subregions might point to the existence of spatial regimes.

Spatial heterogeneity:

Spatial heterogeneity exists when structural changes related to location exist in a dataset. In such cases, spatial regimes might be present, which are characterized by differing parameter values or functional forms.

Unfortunately, the difference is still not clear to me. Both explanations seem to indicate that spatial regimes as well as spatial heterogeneity refer to a process' variation of mean/variance over space.

  • And there was me thinking that legalese was the least clear form of English. a seems to be defined with reference to b and b to a. Mar 4, 2016 at 16:36
  • I would typify regimes as a homogeneous regions within a heterogeneous random field. Polygons or clusters of similarly valued points would be examples of regions. I would think that anytime you have a nominal characteristics in a spatial domain you could characteristic it as being regionalized. Sep 7, 2018 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


heterogeneity: specifies the diversity of the differences/ non uniform stuff.

SPATIAL HETEROGENEITY: Spatial heterogeneity is a property generally ascribed to a landscape or to a population. It refers to the uneven distribution of various concentrations of each species within an area.

Spatial heterogeneity could be either local or stratified

spatial local heterogeneity refers to the phenomena that the value of an attribute at one site is different from its surrounding, such as a hotspot or cold spot.

Can be tested by LISA.

spatial stratified heterogeneity, referring to the phenomena that the within strata variance is less than the between strata variances, such as ecological zones and land-use classes.

can be measured by geographical detector q-statistic.

The case in which structural conditions have differing effects on some levels in different geographical units leads to what is called the spatial regime. When that variable is characterized by distinct distributions(e.g., with a different mean or variance)for different geographic units, these subregions might point to the existence of spatial regimes.

They are characterized by the different parameter values or functional forms.

e.g., crime in certain regions might be structurally different from crime in other regions

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