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Geography and Science Fiction: the Creation of Realistic Alternative Worlds

By Martin W. Lewis | January 2, 2012 | 22 Comments
Star Wars, Hoth and Tauntauns

(Note to readers: As GeoCurrents is technically on vacation, it seems like a good time to explore an issue that falls outside of the blog’s basic field of concern. For the next week, posts will focus on speculative fiction, culminating with the free release of my own science fiction novel, Terranova: The Black Petaltail, on this website. Regular GeoCurrents posts …

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

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

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

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

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

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

GeoCurrents Master Map

By Martin W. Lewis | July 21, 2011 | 11 Comments
Sample of GeoCurrents Master Map

Thanks to the skill and effort of GeoCurrents technical expert Kevin Morton, an interactive map linking to previous blog postings is now available. You can access the GeoCurrents Master Map here, or by clicking the banner at the top of each page for future convenience.

Clickable GeoCurrents Base Maps Available for Free Download

By Martin W. Lewis | | 3 Comments
Free Download of GeoCurrents Base-Maps

GeoCurrents has been inactive recently, as I have been working on a non-state-based atlas of economic and social development that will appear on the blog later this summer. This project has been demanding, in part because all the information necessary to construct the maps is gathered by, and organized around, states!

Key to Map of Geopolitical Anomalies

By Martin W. Lewis | June 15, 2011 | 14 Comments
Map of a Selection of Geopolitical Anomalies

As the title indicates, only a selection of geopolitical anomalies are indicated on the map. Many more are ignored, including the Basque nationalist movement, the Catalan nationality seeking status as a nation, the British bastion of Gibraltar, and the Spanish North African exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla—and that is merely for Spain and environs.

About GeoCurrents

By Martin W. Lewis | June 13, 2011 |
Map of Geopolitical Anomalies

GeoCurrents is a map-illustrated forum dedicated to exploring global geography. Most posts link to current events, supplying historical background, spatial analysis, and political and intellectual context. Events both major (rebellion in Libya) and minor (protests in Tripura, India)

Last Insights into Global Economic Inequality

By Andrew Linford | June 8, 2011 | One Comment

Calculations of economic development are usually separated from considerations of population and physical geography. The map above, which introduces the concept of GDP Density. This approach shows how much economic value is generated per unit of land. The map clearly displays not only which areas are the most economically productive, but it also shows

GeoCurrents Summer Schedule

By Martin W. Lewis | June 6, 2011 | 4 Comments
GeoCurrents Summer Schedule

Dear Readers, As the academic year is coming to an end at Stanford University, I am currently faced with a large stack of student papers and exams. As a result, blogging will be delayed this week. When I do resume posting, I will focus initially on the blog itself. As you may have noticed

Glimpses of Inequality in the United States

By Andrew Linford | June 1, 2011 |

Inequality in the United States is a surprisingly complex issue. Although most Americans are aware at some level that major inequalities exist in their country, a substantial gap separates believed comprehension and the actual facts. This entry will explore inequality in the United States primarily through three lenses: regional differences, the rural-urban divide, and

Inequality Trends in South Africa

By Andrew Linford | May 17, 2011 | 3 Comments

According to the Gini coefficient, as well as other inequality measurements, South Africa ranks as one of the most unequal countries in the world. Of course, measuring inequality is multidimensional, which particularly applies to South Africa. In discussions of South Africa, severe economic disparities are often highlighted. Much of the country’s inequality stems

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