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Articles in Demic Atlas

The Demic Atlas Project: Toward a Non-State-Based Approach to Mapping Global Economic and Social Development, by Martin W. Lewis, Jake Coolidge, and Anne Fredell

By Martin W. Lewis | August 9, 2011 | 2 Comments

GeoCurrents has taken a summer hiatus to create a new cartographic framework for analyzing socio-economic development. This project is a collaborative effort involving three team-members: Jake Coolidge, a geospatial historian at Stanford University’s Spatial History Lab; Anne Fredell, a Stanford University undergraduate; and myself. The Spatial History Lab at Stanford, which has provided extensive technical

Non-State-Based Atlas Preface, Part II

By Martin W. Lewis | August 11, 2011 | 2 Comments
Map of GDP density

Maps and text from the forthcoming non-state-based (or “demic”) atlas will begin appearing in GeoCurrents next week. This week, the blog is presenting the work’s preface. As noted in the previous post, countries are incomparable units, due to their vast variation in scale. Yet in tables and charts, Nauru, with ten thousand inhabitants living

Demic Atlas Preface, Part III

By Martin W. Lewis | August 13, 2011 | 4 Comments
Modified Map of Europe from 1751

As the past several GeoCurrents posts have explained, sovereign states make poor units of socio-economic comparison due to their vast size disparities. But issues of scale are not the only reasons for considering an alternative scheme of division. In the standard model of global affairs, countries are the all-purpose and essential units of human organization

Introduction to the Demic Atlas

By Martin W. Lewis | August 18, 2011 | 9 Comments
Demic regions and their constituent units

A non-state-based appraisal of global socio-economic development must therefore use states and their major subdivisions as the building blocks of an alternative scheme. Middling, small, and tiny countries have to be grouped together to form units of a more appropriate size. By the same token, large countries need to be broken down into

Per Capita GDP (Nominal) in the Demic and State-Based Frameworks

By Martin W. Lewis | August 23, 2011 | 4 Comments
Degree of Per Capita GDP Change, State-Baseed and Demic Frameworks

Despite such limitations, per capita GDP remains the most common metric of economic development, and it is therefore employed on our first set of maps. For purposes of immediate comparison, the two maps use the same color scheme and divide the data into the same number of categories, based in both cases on

Global GDP in PPP, State-Based and Demic Frameworks

By Martin W. Lewis | August 24, 2011 |
Maps of Global GDP (PPP), Demic and State-Based Frameworks

The next set of maps depicts global GDP variation within the demic framework, contrasting nominal and PPP evaluations. The differences found between the two maps are minor yet instructive. In purchasing power terms, the petroleum-rich zone in west central Africa slips down one color category, reflecting the unbalanced nature of local oil-based economies

The Human Development Index (HDI) in the State-Based and Demic Frameworks

By Martin W. Lewis | August 26, 2011 | 5 Comments
Map Comparing HDI and GDP, State-Based Framework

The Human Development Index (HDI) is the most widely used method of assessing the overall level of human wellbeing across the planet. Today’s post examines HDI rankings in the demic and state-based frameworks. As is the case in regard to GDP measurements, the demic map portrays broad regional patterns of development relatively well, while missing

Concluding Posts on the Demic Atlas

By Martin W. Lewis | August 29, 2011 |
Map of Island Assignments in the Demic Framework

Dear Readers,

The Demic Atlas project will conclude at the end of this week; next week’s posts will return to the standard GeoCurrents model, examining local issues of geographical significance. Today’s map merely shows which island groups are associated with which regions in the demic framework. As the map is self-explanatory, no further comment

A Global North/South Division in the Demic Framework?

By Martin W. Lewis | September 2, 2011 | 4 Comments

As has been argued previously on GeoCurrents, the commonplace notion that the world is starkly divided between a prosperous and powerful “global north” and an impoverished and underdeveloped “global south” (with Australia and New Zealand forming southern outposts of the north) receives little support from world maps of socio-economic development. As can be seen in

Demic Atlas Visualization and Geospatial Data

By Martin W. Lewis | September 4, 2011 |
Visualization of the Demic Atlas

An interactive visualization of the Demic Atlas is now available on the website of the Stanford Spatial History Project, thanks to the unceasing efforts of Anne Fredell and Jake Coolidge. By clicking on the grey boxes on the page, one can toggle back and forth between demic and state-based world maps of per capita GDP

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