Making maps in powerpoint and word: why do regional scientists not map their results?
Faculty of Applied Economics
Jönköping , 2010
Proceedings of the 50th Anniversary European Congress of the Regional Science Association International (ERSA) Sustainable regional growth and development in the creative knowledge economy, 19th-23rd August 2010 Jönköping, Sweden
University of Antwerp
Cartography has commonly been used in regional science and Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis is regularly applied to visualise the distribution of the variable of interest in space. Articles often contain several maps of administrative areas showing the values of a certain variable. However, and despite the benefits of such maps, they are nothing more than spatial catalogues of data. Their usefulness for regional scientist is beyond questioning, but the communicative value is limited. The rise of GIS has rightly been welcomed by many scientists, however, critical cartographers often pose the question if GIS has killed cartography?. Moreover, this discussion about maps in regional science can be more than a trivial item since it can reveal the fear of scientists to draw a conclusion. The chorematics approach, as developed by Brunet, considers maps as vitrines, and not as catalogues. In this paper we show that such an approach can enrich regional science by delivering a methodology to visualise spatial structures and dynamics using geometric figures. Finally, we argue that powerpoint and word are better cartographic tools than common GIS packages.