One common strategy groups the basic reporting units under study spatially and the statistical data reported for each unit within well-defined spatial classes. Another familiar strategy groups the units according to the values of some demographic variable. This report defines a strategy for evaluating the utility of a given classification based on spatial contiguity or population, for example. It suggests the heuristic optimization technique and presents a method for comparing the adequacy of any two different classifications. The article emphasizes the importance of empirical typologies obtained from earlier data sources as appropriate a priori classification schemes. The example used throughout the paper involves crime rate data for 40 cities in the Los Angeles area. Data tables, notes, and nine references are supplied.