Objectives The spatial delimitation of urban area is the foundation for monitoring the urbanization level and determining city scale from the perspective of geographical space.
Methods Based on the requirements of urban area defined in Document No. 51 of the State Council, this paper clarifies the connotations of urban area with further understandings and proposes a process for delimiting urban area in geographical space by connecting map polygons of governmental residents and neighborhood committee, which can reduce the subjectivity and fuzziness in the spatialization of process of urban area.
Results This paper develops the main idea and spatial delimitation about urban area and takes Wuhan as an example to illustrate the details about spatial delimitation of urban areas.
Conclusions This paper mainly discusses how to unify urban delineation under the current technical conditions, and does not mention how to use other auxiliary data, such as the application of multi-source big data in urban delineation, because of the unbalanced development of big data infrastructure in different cities. But it does not mean that the application of population big data and urban big data is not important. On the contrary, the application of big data in the work of urban areadelimitation is the next research focus and the future development trend.