This seminar is presented by Dimitris Ballas, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield. It is part of the Harvard Geography Colloquium, which invites leading academics to present cutting edge geographic research.
Abstract: Many of us think of European countries as discreet entities: their own languages, cultures, food, and economies squarely contained within their national boundaries. But in fact Europe is at once a unified place and a sophisticatedly fragmented one, and national boundaries rarely reflect its social and economic realities. The social atlas of Europe (www.europemapper.org) is the first atlas to map Europe according to these realities, from the perspective of human geography rather than simply a political one. Using innovative full-color visualization methods, it reconsiders European identity through its many different facets: economy, culture, history, and human and physical geography, visualizing Europe and its people in a more fluid way, in some cases using maps without artificial national boundaries. This talk will provide an overview of the social atlas of Europe project, which utilizes the latest available demographic, social, and economic data through state-of-the-art geographical information systems and new cartography techniques. The talk will provide an overview of the key methodological approaches that are adopted in this ongoing project (including geovisualisation and spatial microsimulation techniques) and will also illustrate how these are being employed to offer fresh geographical perspectives on a range of topics, including social values, culture, education, employment, environmental footprints, health and well-being, and social inequalities and cohesion.