ICC Programming

Mapping place

5511.2 - Classical Geopolitics and Cartography

Wednesday, July 5
1:50 PM - 2:10 PM
Location: Hoover

Cartography, History, Civilizations and Geopolitics

Bertil Haggman

Combining cartography with civilizations, history and geopolitics is an important future in various fields. An example in the 1990s was the change from hard-copy to software in the historical-political atlas field as early as 1993. Clockwork Software of Chicago then presented Millenium, an historical atlas of Europe and the Middle East from 1000 AD to the present.

Atlases of all kinds can now be produced, put on CDs or downloaded to be stored on computers and on USBs. Each map can then be sought out and printed separately in colour.

Centennia is another example. It is a map-based guide to the history of Europe and the Middle East from the beginning of the 11th century to the present. Dynamic, animated it seemed to be the follow-up of Millenium. This software product of Centennia Software in the United States was according to the publisher used by the National War College.

The British history Professor Jeremy Black is a prolific writer in the field of cartography. It started in 1997 with his Maps and History - Constructing Images of the Past (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, paperback 2000, 267 pages). This is a fine overview of historical atlas publishing from the early ages to our days. What is lacking in this book was a more detailed survey of global political influence, especially geopolitics.

What is lacking in Black's book is a more detailed look at the return of geopolitics in cartography. Long after the Second World War publishers avoided geopolitical atlases. The existence of German Geopolitik during the war years and the propagandistic character of the geopolitical maps might be the reason. But since the 20th century there has always been a dominating alternative, American-British geopolitics, a subject related to political geography, with the Sir Halford Mackinder, Nicholas J. Spykman and Alfred Thayer Mahan as the leading names.

A number of strategic atlases were published during the Cold War. One of the most important was the one by British geopolitician Professor Ewan Anderson, An Atlas of World Political Flashpoints - A Sourcebook of Geopolitical Crisis (Pinter Reference, London, 1993).

Of value was also another atlas namely Strategic Atlas - A Comparative Geopolitics of the World´s Powers (Perennial Library, Harper & Row Publishers, New York). It was highly lauded in reviews.

The atlases mentioned here are good illustrations of the fact that geopolitics has played, is playing and will play an important role in the presentation of the overriding strategic questions in world politics. The Center for Research on Geopolitics is presently working on a project to produce a “

The revival of geopolitics in the twenty-first century has demonstrated the importance of the geopolitical map and the geopolitical atlas. It is especially important to cover Eurasia (the heartland of Mackinder; Russia and Central Asia) and the rimland of Spykman with China and Iran, Persia, in future geopolitical atlases.

Bertil Haggman

Center for Research on Geopolitics

Mr. Bertil Haggman is Director of the Center for Research on Geopolitics (CRG), Sweden. CRG was founded in 1988 as a private initiative. Haggman is the author of around 15 books including "Geopolitik - en introduktion" (2009). CRG is presently involved in the project "Atlas of Classical Geopolitics". The project was presented at the Swedish Cartographic Society meeting in 2013.


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Robert Edsall

Geospatial Research and Development Scientist
Idaho National Laboratory

Rob is a geographic visualization specialist at the Idaho National Laboratory. There, he is responsible for designing and developing geographic and data analytic tools in the Homeland Security Division, applying visualization theory most frequently to the understanding of critical infrastructure of the United States. Much of this data is geographically explicit, though recently his team has been examining the representation (visually and in databases) for the complex interactions and dependencies among critical infrastructure assets and entities in the Nation. Additionally, he has been involved in the relationships between physical infrastructure and cyber security, helping analysts assess vulnerabilities of assets, institutions, and systems to cyber attacks.


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5511.2 - Classical Geopolitics and Cartography


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