Infoscience

Conference paper

Understanding the Ecumene through Interactive Mapping and Movement-Sensitive Population Indicators: the Case of the Canton Valais, Switzerland

The canton of Valais can be considered, in many respects, as a synecdoche of the Swiss territory. Presenting many linguistic, cultural or economical polarities that extend over short distances, exacerbating the tension between the ecumene and the ereme, subject to rapid territorial mutations, this region is also a cartographic challenge. Its non-homogeneously scattered population and its complex mobility patterns in a highly differentiated physical space are difficult to synthesize on a sheet of paper. The study discusses on how interactive mapping can contribute to the intellectual appropriation of this territory. Its advantages are presented in terms of the simultaneous observation of the physical space and its human settlement pattern. Second, the study discusses the differences between topographic and demographic metrics of the mapping space, and show how interactivity can contribute to their articulation, with regard to political mapping. Finally the problem of mapping mobility is developed, by presenting three geographical indicators allowing summarizing the fundamentally diachronic movement-data in a synchronic map. Each topic is emphasized by concrete application examples drawn from a study of the canton of Valais their implementation being discussed in the interactive web-mapping system ‘Géoclip’.

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