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Geography, Cartography and Military Intelligence: The Royal Geographical Society and the First World War

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Abstract

This essay examines the connections between geography, cartography and military intelligence in Britain during the First World War. It focuses on the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and its wartime activities on behalf of the British intelligence service. Evidence is presented on the role of the RGS in the dispute between the so-called 'westerners', committed to an all-out clash with Germany on the western front, and the 'easterners', who argued that the key to deadlock in western Europe lay in the Ottoman Empire. For a short period, the RGS became a significant metropolitan focus for those advocating a British intervention in the Middle East coupled with an Arab revolt against the Turks, the campaign popularly associated with T E Lawrence. The essay concludes with an assessment of the significance of geography to the British war effort and an evaluation of the impact of the war on the institutions and prestige of the discipline. Some final comments are offered on the moral and ethical questions raised by the mobilization of geographical expertise in wartime.

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... In studying the mapping of the Bartholomew and 1920, was vocal in reviewing and discussing African cartography in and from the 1890s and the firm featured in the few recent accounts of commercial cartography 179 Colony-specific studies include: Stone, 1995;Liebenberg, 1997;Board, 2006;Collier, 2011. 180 Examples of specific phenomena include: Bassett and Porter (1991) Heffernan (1996) on RGS-Governmental relations during WWI for example. 184 On the value of the archive, see Fleet andWithers, 2009 andScully, 2010. ...
... 237 Richards 1993, p. 11-14. 238 Burnett 2001, p. 6;Heffernan, 1996. consistently dominant across the era ( Figure 5.3 Approximately 435,200 copies of the maps sent to these clients can be identified as sales of the firm's publications. ...
... The institutional spatiality of British mapping investigated in this thesis is but one of many factors contributing to the construction of a nuanced British cartographic history of 482 This in part reflects the fact that the Bartholomew Archive is the only repository consulted that pertains to a specifically cartographic institution; maps were a smaller component of the other institutions/ individuals, and thus their archives are not so well structured with respect to maps. 483 Heffernan, 1996Heffernan, , 2000 Africa. There are other possible 'geographies' that could be analysed. ...
Thesis
This thesis investigates how the mapping of Africa by British institutions between c.1880 and c.1915 was more complex and variable than is traditionally recognised. The study takes three ‘cuts’ into this topic, presented as journal papers, which examine: the Bartholomew map-publishing firm, the cartographic coverage of the Second Boer War, and the maps associated with Sir Harry H. Johnston. Each case-study focuses on what was produced – both quantitative output and the content of representations – and why. Informed by theories from the history of cartography, book history and the history of science, particular attention is paid to the concerns and processes embodied in the maps and map-making that are irreducible to simply ‘imperial’ discourse; these variously include editorial processes and questions of authorship, concerns for credibility and intended audiences, and the circulation and ‘life-cycles’ of maps. These findings are also explored in relation to the institutional geography of cartography in Britain: the studies illustrate the institutional contingency of such factors and how this gave rise to highly variable representations of Africa. These three empirical papers represent the first sustained studies of each of the topics. By connecting their findings, the thesis also offers broader reconceptualisations of the British mapping of Africa between c.1880 and c.1915: with respect to cartographic representations, maps as objects, and the institutions producing them. Maps did not simply reflect ‘imperial’ discourse; they were highly variable manifestations of multifaceted and institutionally contingent factors and were mobile and mutable objects that were re-used and re-produced in different ways across different settings. Mapmaking institutions were discrete but interconnected sites that not only produced different representations, but played different roles in the mapping of Africa. By illuminating the institutional provenance, ‘life-cycles’ and content of the maps studied, this thesis extends current knowledge of British mapping of Africa during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and raises questions for further research incorporating its lessons, sources and theories.
... The literature in geography has rarely touched on intelligence matters. Several papers have examined the historical role of the discipline in intelligence work, or vice versa (Heffernan 1996(Heffernan , 2000Clout and Gosme 2003;Crampton, Roberts, and Poorthuis 2014). The work of Barnes (2006) is particularly salient given his deployment of actor-network theory. ...
... The literature in geography has rarely touched on intelligence matters. Several papers have examined the historical role of the discipline in intelligence work, or vice versa (Heffernan 1996(Heffernan , 2000Clout and Gosme 2003;Crampton, Roberts, and Poorthuis 2014). The work of Barnes (2006) is particularly salient given his deployment of actor-network theory. ...
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Article
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... He observed how analyzing contexts, explaining interactions and interdependencies, and finding solutions to technical problems. Some of them support the power structure by pretending to provide objective or scientific arguments that justify political and military actions, by manipulating facts, or by serving their nation in military intelligence (see Heffernan, 1996Heffernan, , 2002, as a diplomatic weapon (Doel & Harper, 2006), or as an instrument of colonialism and imperialism. When engaging in ideological disputes, politicians and other figures in power like to turn to the academic community when seeking to create the appearance that their arguments and actions are rational, their actions legitimate, their analyses scientific, or their evaluations objective (see Gregory, 1978). ...
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Chapter
This chapter explores the multiple linkages between knowledge, civil society, governance, and democracy. Broader questions about relations between knowledge and freedom are placed in the context of whether these linkages are codetermined by an enabling of the knowledgeability of modern actors. Emphasis is placed on the growing opportunities for reflexive cooperation in civil society organizations, for social movements, and for an increasing influence on democratic regimes by growing segments of society. The specific aim of this chapter is more modest. Access to knowledge and the command thereof are at the core of its inquiry. Both access to knowledge and its command are stratified. Three barriers to access to knowledge are examined and questions raised about whether expertise and civil society can be reconciled, whether reconciling civil society and knowledge can be conceived of as a private good, and, finally, whether the social sciences and humanities are a source of enabling knowledge.
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... Thus, the historical researcher of military geographies faces a series of issues, from accessing material (whether it is unclassified, if access is permitted and via what bureaucratic requirements), to sifting through abundant excessive detail and material, locating absences, navigating redacted documents (Gilbert, 2016), and extending what counts as the "military archive" (Forsyth, 2016). Biography has been one tool through which to rub against the "excruciating silences" of the official military archive whether of individuals (Surun, 2011), technologies, (Forsyth, 2017a;Robinson, 2013), animals (Forsyth, 2017c), and sites (Heffernan, 1996). These works are imbued with a critical and ethical reflection on whose lives and experiences are attended to with a political commitment to trace legacies and accountabilities. ...
Article
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Chapter
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... Mason's role in wartime intelligence had begun in February 1940, when he was asked by Rear Admiral J. H. Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence, to prepare intelligence reports for foreign operations. From early in 1941, Mason headed up Naval Intelligence Division 5 at Oxford, preparing the 58 volumes of Admiralty Geographical Handbooks covering the main theatres of the war, reprising in many ways the relationship between the RGS and Naval Intelligence in the First World War (Balchin 1987, 169-171;Heffernan 1996;Clout and Gosme 2003.) Mason's career, linking British and Indian geographical and cartographical networks, reminds us of the significant role that "disciplining space" played in both waging war and in the workings of the imperial security state (Hevia 2012). ...
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Mountains of Tartary (1950) recounts Eric Shipton's mountaineering and travels in Xinjiang during his two postings as British Consul-General in Kashgar in the 1940s. An accomplished Himalayan mountaineer of the 1930s, Shipton was a successful author of mountaineering travel books. During the 1930s his work with the Survey of India saw him increasingly drawn into the workings of the imperial security state in the geopolitically sensitive border regions of the Karakoram. Shipton's proven ability to travel in arduous mountain terrain and gather geographical intelligence led to his posting to Kashgar. Details of his diplomatic work are almost entirely absent from Mountains of Tartary and only became known in outline in 1969, with the publication of his autobiography. With unparalleled knowledge of the geo-political situation in Xinjiang in the 1940s, Shipton was prevented from publishing anything that revealed the details of his role in Great Game politics in 1950, not least by the fact that he still held a consular position in Kunming, Yunnan. Thus at the heart of Mountains of Tartary is an occlusion. This paper will examine the rhetorical strategies Shipton employed in writing a book in which so much had to remain undisclosed. He was aware that the roles he played, as mountaineer, explorer and traveller, had multiple meanings on the borders of British India, that to situate his narrative within an Orientalist and Great Game tradition risked unwanted disclosure. The essential unreliability of the narrative emerges as a consequence of writing under such constraints. Intentionally aporetic, the text is riven by chronological and biographical voids, unintentionally revealing the strain of inhabiting multiple personas and keeping track of the competing demands of different audiences. Shipton's failure of self-censorship erupts in transgressive revelations, concealed messages to certain sections of his readership able to read between the lines, revealing Mountains of Tartary to be a steganographic text, one that needs not just decoding but looking beyond, to what is undisclosed and unsaid.
... In the thirty years from 1884, geographical societies embodied a public geographical and imperial consciousness in Britain. After the 1914-1918 war-in which the RGS was much involved with cartography and military intelligence (Heffernan 1996)-public support was much less evident and the RGS and RSGS became more strictly academic. ...
Chapter
In the academic year 1999–2000, over 21,000 students in 109 universities and other institutions of higher education in Britain were registered for geography or geography-based honours degrees. At A-level (the principal advanced school qualification in England and Wales), geography is the fifth-most popular of all subjects. Geography is a required part of the national curriculum at GCSE-level (the mid-range school qualification in England and Wales). In 1996, nearly 1,050 professional geographers in all departments and schools of geography in 68 institutions of higher education submitted their research work to peer review as part of the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise, itself overseen by the four national funding councils responsible for managing the monies allocated to higher education by the government of the United Kingdom.
... Lesser attention has been paid to the societies' own impact on knowledge production and dissemination and to the interlocking of scientific and political processes, particularly in periods of geopolitical transformation. By employing a comparative approach, this article aims to fill this lacuna while also drawing parallels between territorial and scholarly boundary work, as suggested by recent studies on the relationship between geographical societies and World War One (Heffernan 1996;Győri and Withers 2019). ...
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... As Richards (1993, 22) has stated, such a project required a "man of all seasons" and "a paradigm of surveillance," 5 making British military officers ideal purveyors of colonial knowledge as they collected birds from across the British Empire, often networking with fellow "kindred spirits" (Carey 1932, 168). Many formed close associations with leading scientific societies such as the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Society, and the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Stoddart 1980;Browne 1992;Heffernan 1996;Laidlaw 2005). With increasing emphasis on technologies of inscription (Driver 2001)-such as listing, classifying, taxidermy, type specimens, and travel writing (e.g., Farber 1977Farber , 1997Johnson 2005)-British military officers recast ornithological knowledge and objects as "immutable mobiles" (Latour 1987, 227) integral in making visible the natural world through scientific and visual discourses (Demeritt 2001;Braun 2002). ...
Article
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... 31 Nas páginas do conhecido artigo de Matthew Edney (1993Edney ( [2011), publicado no periódico Cartographica: The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization, lê-se uma crítica constante e feroz à escrita da história do mapeamento sob moldes positivistas, tal como aquela da definição introdutória de Crone (1953) (2019), há, também no Brasil, um laço histórico e visceral entre situações beligerantes e a produção ou publicação de mapas na imprensa -fato constatado por autores que investigam a conexão entre cartografia e guerra em outros países (Heffernan, 1996;Vujakovic, 2002;Cosgrove & della Dora, 2005 (Kuhn, 1980;Daston, 2012 (Daston, 2012). Outra característica relevante da fixação da memória pelos cientistas reside na elaboração, às vezes incidental, de manuais científicos e outros tipos de materiais pedagógicos. ...
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... Hobsbawm's (1994) 'age of catastrophe ', from 1914 to 1945, witnessed a proliferation of regional historical geography in different countries, closely linked to the institutionalisation of geography in higher education. The First World War enhanced geography's reputation as a useful science and encouraged the growing, if temporary involvement of women in geographical work (Heffernan 1996;Maddrell 2008). Although several geographical projects integrative concept of Landschaft, flourishing in German geography at the time, as a methodologically more flexible alternative to Hettner's (1932) twofold approach to regional geography (Länderkunde) that examined, in a rather rigid way, the physical and human geographical features of a particular area before providing a subdivision into smaller areal units (Schultz 1980). ...
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Definition There is no single history of 'geography', only a bewildering variety of different, often competing versions of the past. One such interpretation charts the transition from early-modern navigation to Enlightenment exploration to the 'new' geography of the late nineteenth century and the regional geography of the interwar period.
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This paper provides a commentary on the articles in the special issue. In their introduction, the editors identify three linking themes: the varieties of wartime experience, of geographers and others; moral geographies, including the moral bases to the interpretative categories used to write about those experiences; and the contrast between ‘major’ and ‘minor’ historical geographies of war. Building upon, but also extending from these concerns, this afterword addresses three topics in order to elaborate upon the arguments of the several papers: the connections between biography, geography and memory; the importance of the intellectual and political context before 1939 in understanding the nature of geography and the experiences of geographers in Europe during the Second World War; the co-constitutive relationships between the arts of geography and the acts of war, including geography's material and civic expression.
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Producing maps and related representations of geography in warfare provides information about the terrain and the positions of troops. They are also used in strategic planning and as operational tools. They are an integral part of a military campaign. Maps are provided by military topographic agencies as the main resource for operations. However, many complementary products have been produced by commercial map publishers and as support for newspaper articles reporting on battles. As well, combatants produce many ‘informal’ maps and diagrams before, during and after a campaign. These products can be considered to be more personal and to provide a different ‘view’ of a battle than the official maps provided by conventional publishing methods. An international collaborative research project is studying the geographical information resources and geographical representations used for analysis, planning, conducting and post-event analysis of large-scale operations. The research is focussing on the geographical information resources used in the Gallipoli Campaign in World War 1, so as to appreciate mapping resources used to visualise the political and physical geography that contributed to the selection of the Gallipoli peninsula as a site for a second front during World War 1, the determination of possible landing sites, developing ‘at location’ troop deployment and movement plans and the eventual evacuation of forces from Gallipoli. This chapter provides an insight into some of the mapping and geographical artefacts that were found during research into the availability of cartographic resources from the Dardenelles campaign of 1915. These can generally be described as official, commercial and personal. It describes samples of the maps and drawings that were found in historical map collections. These products were published by the military, by commercial map producers and in newspapers. As well, soldiers recorded things like their journey to the Gallipoli campaign, general observations of battle situations and field-drawn base maps and pictorial representations of troop positions and emplacements.
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This article examines Allied peace planning during the latter stages of the First World War by comparing and connecting the British, French, and American expert groups. These academic experts were expected to apply the publicly announced programme of national self-determination to the local realities in Europe without losing sight of their governments’ geopolitical directives. Contacts and exchanges between the three groups, largely neglected in the literature, played a crucial role in shaping the experts’ work. At the same time, persisting national suspicion and the fragile institutional position of the experts prevented open debate on the precise meaning of national self-determination and thereby forestalled the development of a coherent Allied peace programme. This shortcoming would become a serious burden for the negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference and the early interwar period, in that it led to growing frustration and undermined Allied commitment to the Paris peace treaties.
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This paper considers the role that empire played in the beginnings of academic geography in Europe and North America between the 1880s and 1920s. Revisionist and critical work on this period and problem asserts that geography should be viewed as an imperial discipline: that by the 1920s ideas and practices that had become integral to how the discipline was being defined by geographers and was regarded by the public - especially exploration, mapping and surveying, environmental determinism, regional analysis and geo-politics - were deeply implicated in war, colonialism and Western dominance. This paper advocates a more nuanced approach, and tracks themes of determinism, hierarchy and ambivalence in the relations between geography and empire. It ends with the suggestion that in the light of geography’s current (renewed and on-going) entanglement with war and militarism, the question of ‘geography and empire’ is not simply a historical (bygone) or analytical question, but also a profoundly political and moral one.
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This Virtual Issue examines the relationship between geography and politics after 1945 until the present day. It does so by focusing on the archive of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, and its earlier incarnations. A number of recurrent themes are identified in the concerns of political geographers. The materials presented complicate the standard historiography and raise issues around the politics and future purposes of political geography. © 2015 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).
Thesis
En septembre 1989 la Ville de Strasbourg a présenté au salon Utopies 89, au Grand Palais à Paris, la maquette d'un Pont de l'Europe réalisée par l'Italien Gaetano Pesce, architecte, designer et philosophe. Ce pont, en forme de "S" comme l'initiale de Strasbourg, devait enjamber le Rhin en amont pour relier la France à l'Allemagne d'Ouest en Est. En 1989 la Communauté Économique Européenne n'était constituée que de douze États que, sur sa maquette, Gaetano Pesce a représentés deux fois : par douze pavillons nationaux individualisés et répartis sur le tablier du pont ; par une carte schématisée de l’Europe des Douze implantée sous le tablier du pont, Nord/Sud. L'extension de l'Union Européenne a, entre autres motifs, rendu obsolète la réalisation du projet. Depuis décembre 2013 la maquette est présentée dans les salles consacrées à l'Europe au Musée Historique de Strasbourg.
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In the wake of World War I, geographers helped advise national delegations at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference whose purpose was to delimit Europe’s new boundaries. The paper examines the role played by British geographers, specifically Alan Ogilvie and the British geographical delegation, in the Treaty of Trianon (1920) which greatly reduced Hungary’s territorial extent. Attention is paid to contemporary published work on the new Europe, particularly Marion Newbigin’s Aftermath: A Geographical Study of the Peace Terms and Ogilvie’s Boundary Settlement (1922). Assessment of manuscript diaries and correspondence reveals the complex circumstances faced by geographers engaged in peace work. The work of different practitioners – in the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), over how national boundaries should be arrived at (on either ethnic or physiographic grounds) – was hindered by inadequate map provision from British geographical institutions. This led Ogilvie to propose a new geographical body for Britain at a time when the RGS was facing criticism and when the meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, not the RGS, provided the forum for discussion of the new post-war Europe.
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The emergence of air power as the pre‐eminent method of warfare prompted a decision, made at the highest level, to form a new arm of the British military. The Central Landing Establishment was founded as parachuting headquarters in 1940, and tasked with developing and implementing the means for training and delivering airborne forces to the ground. With woeful shortfalls in aerial knowledge, experimentation proved crucial. The paper examines the recruitment and synthetic ground training of the British Parachute Regiment at Ringway Aerodrome (1940–1946), and their experimental exchanges with “specialists” in the art of falling. More specifically, in the absence of a recognised landing technique, and with associated high injury rates, Ringway turned to movement theorist Rudolf Laban to advance its embodied aerial practice. The paper will explore how militaries have long recognised the centrality of such embodied and aesthetic regimes to the doing of geopolitics. In particular, it foregrounds the multifaceted, micro‐bodily practices – operating through complex interconnected spatialities – that comprise the waging of war. In turn, it asserts the significance of the aesthetic in understanding how geopolitics takes place and is implemented in the world. In doing so, the paper unpacks the “art” within the art of war. The paper examines the recruitment and synthetic ground training of the British Parachute Regiment at Ringway Aerodrome (1940–1946), and their experimental exchanges with “specialists” in the art of falling. More specifically, in the absence of a recognised landing technique, and with associated high injury rates, Ringway turned to movement theorist Rudolf Laban to advance its embodied aerial practice. In sum, the paper unpacks the “art” within the art of war.
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Original holograph and manuscript cartographic materials, for potential or eventual publication by the Royal Geographical Society, survive in considerable variety, number and condition. The RGS’s first commissioned map (1830) was a facsimile of Hereford Cathedral’s medieval manuscript mappamundi. From 1854 Map Room staff became draughtsmen of large diagram maps for lectures; until 1877 external draughtsmen were generally employed to copy or produce the RGS’s published illustrations. Manuscript itineraries, astronomical observations for position-fixing, sketch maps (some derived from ‘native’ or indigenous sources), and printed items (Admiralty charts, War Office maps) were bases for compiling maps and large diagrams. Survey Department Egypt’s Capt. H.G. Lyons sent 6200 copies of the Nile basin orographical map for his Journal article (Lyons. Geogr J 32(5):[449]–480, 1908). Compilation rules (data sources noted), toponymy (transliteration, Romanisation and orthography), lettering styles, and technical processes (steel, then quill, pens to scribing) evolved. To recoup its expenses the Society hired out or loaned its illustrations and artefacts to other events and institutions (Herbert. The Royal Geographical Society. In: Monmonier (ed) The history of cartography, vol 6. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 1371–1375, 2015).
Article
Location has proven axiomatic as an economic variable throughout human history. Tobler’s first law of geography introduced the importance of location; in that, near things are more related than far things. In an age of digital economies, a new research frontier exists where everything is more related to everything else and has an increased economic value from spatially enabled technology. The accessibility of digital-spatial information has brought economic geographers to a new understanding of markets within a Digital Earth framework. The importance of location to economic value can be expected to grow as the Internet of Things develops in sophistication. New business models enter and disrupt established markets with innovative spatially enabled approaches. A successful penetration of established markets suggests a new business model for financial and functional utility by engaging spatially enabled assets. The second law of geography is introduced as a conceptual framework to comprehend the economic potential of spatially enabled information. A comparative analysis of non-spatial versus spatial web agents provides a quantitative framework to demonstrate the benefits of the Digital Earth economy.
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Professional geographers use maps to reveal spatial patterns in their data and to seek correlations in those patterns, although they no longer always do so by the timehonoured method of simple visual comparison of distributions on a series of paper maps. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are founded on maps stored electronically. In most British geography departments, cartography has been distanced from geography. This chapter discusses the use of maps in geography, quantification and spatial science, maps and public policy in Britain, thematic mapping, compilation of atlases and reading of maps.
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Between 1912 and 1919, Jovan Cvijić, a world-renowned professor of geography in the University of Belgrade and a prominent member of the nationalist movement for the creation of a Pan-slavic State in South Eastern Europe, had a very active role in building and defining the territory of the future Yugoslavia. Using published sources and unpublished archives, we shall consider here his many activities before, during and after the First World War in terms of dynamic circulations within international political and intellectual circles. They include personal circulations (as a refugee in Switzerland and in France), text and map circulations between 1917 and 1919, finally circulations of geographical and geopolitical arguments during the Paris Peace Conference as the leading territorial expert of the Serbian delegation, with or against other geographers, for example Emmanuel de Martonne. Studying the case of the debate on Fiume (Rijeka) and Triest, we will therefore argue that, from Cvijić’s point of view and under his influence, Paris became the place of a long and large international Congress of applied geography, with political and spatial consequences of national, European and world interest.
Book
Empire and maps are mutually reliant phenomena and traceable to the dawn of civilisation. Furthermore, maps retain a supremely authoritative status as unquestioned reflections of reality. In todays image-saturated world, their influence is more powerful now than at any other time in history. This book argues that in the 21 st century we are seeing an imperial renaissance in the European Union (EU), a political organisation which defies categorisation, but whose power and influence grows by the year. It examines the past, present, and future of the EU to demonstrate that empire is not a category of state but rather a collective imagination which reshapes history and appropriates an artificial past to validate the policies of the present and the ambitions of the future. In doing so, this book illuminates the imperial discourse that permeates the mass maps of the modern EU. This text will be of key interest to students and scholars of political science, EU Studies, Human Geography, European political history, cartography and visual methodologies and international relations.
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This chapter discusses the origins and purpose of Global Map, the current situation of the initiative, and the challenges it faces in the future. A major societal challenge facing the world today involves finding a way to deal more effectively with growing environmental problems. Reliable geographic information at a global scale is an indispensable element in formulating policy responses to global environmental challenges. The main purpose of Global Map is to describe the status of the global environment to aid in decision-making processes. Global Map provides digital maps of the terrestrial surface of Earth at a resolution of 1 km, with consistent and comparable specifications for every country. It is produced in cooperation with the national mapping organization in each country. Global Map was initiated by the government of Japan as a contribution to the action plan of the United Nations Agenda 21 program. There are four vector and four raster layers. Version 1 of Global Map was released in June 2008 and includes coverage of Antarctica. It also includes two global maps with complete high-quality coverage, one on land cover and the other on percentage tree cover. New uses of Global Map include disaster adaptation, mitigation, and management, and educational applications. Although Global Map as a product is important, the cooperative process by which Global Map is produced is equally important. This ongoing cooperation will help to ensure the future of Global Map as it enters a new phase in its development and make a substantial contribution to capacity building in the application of geoinformation to sustainable development.
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The modern peace movement can be traced back at least to the early 1800s, when peace societies were established in Britain and the United States, among other countries. The British journal The Herald of Peace, founded in 1819, and underpinned by Quaker doctrine, was an early protagonist for education for peace. From this time, peace movements were marked by two strands: The more uncompromising pacifist, openly envisaging propaganda and indoctrination as legitimate means of promoting its views, and the more ameliorative internationalist, which reluctantly accepted the concept of the just war. For most of the period up to the First World War, the justification for geography in the curriculum was more militaristic than pacific. Between the wars, however, the internationalist strand of the peace movement gained momentum, buttressed by the educational efforts of the League of Nations. The strategy of the League of Nations to seek to eliminate militarism and national vainglory from geography and history textbooks was maintained by UNESCO after the Second World War. Geographical educationists and textbook writers lent support, sometimes cautious, to education for peace and international understanding. The final section of this article addresses the nature of the guidance. An historical perspective can usefully offer latter-day promoters of education for peace and international understanding, and suggests the kind of contribution geography can advantageously offer.
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Whilst terms such as Lebensraum are commonly associated with National-Socialist ideology of the 1930s and 40s, ideas of racial living space were in fact generated in the previous decades by an international geographic community of explorers and academics. Focusing on one of the most influential figures within this group, Sven Hedin, this is the first study that systematically connects the geographic community to the intellectual history of the development of National-Socialist ideology and genocidal practices. The book demonstrates how colonial, racial and nationalistic policies were often spearheaded by explorers and geographers such as Hedin. In Germany, Britain, France, and Russia their positions as publicly recognized authors and reputable academics made them highly influential with politicians. Whilst this influence was to become most visible within Hitler's Germany, the debates were not by any means restricted to or even originated in, Germany. Germany was the home of some of the most prominent geographers, but this scientific community had a tradition of international debate and exchange with especially British, French and Russian geographic societies and institutions. Many issues that were later discussed and championed by National-Socialist ideology were aired and debated in this international setting - raising important questions about the international character and impact of National-Socialism. Tracing the intellectual history of the international geographic community and its relationship to National-Socialism, this study provides an assessment of Hedin's close involvement with the Nazi elite as a culmination of decades of political and scientific work. In so doing the book uncovers a long ignored or overlooked important connection between exploration, geographers, and genocide.
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The Second World War led to significant developments in operational intelligence activities as the belligerent powers collected the geographic, military, and socio-economic information that was essential for planning military operations. Part of the British strategic agencies were dedicated to geographic intelligence through divisions, sections, and departments that analysed the terrain over which potential military movements could occur. This article provides an analysis of British reports on the Canary Islands as a case study of wartime geographic intelligence. It shows how the information collected supported the design and updating of British invasion plans on the islands between 1940 and 1943.
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Information is power. For more than five hundred years the success or failure of nations has been determined by a country's ability to acquire knowledge and technical skill and transform them into strength and prosperity. Leading historian Jeremy Black approaches global history from a distinctive perspective, focusing on the relationship between information and society and demonstrating how the understanding and use of information have been the primary factors in the development and character of the modern age. Black suggests that the West's ascension was a direct result of its institutions and social practices for acquiring, employing, and retaining information and the technology that was ultimately produced. His cogent and well-reasoned analysis looks at cartography and the hardware of communication, armaments and sea power, mercantilism and imperialism, science and astronomy, as well as bureaucracy and the management of information, linking the history of technology with the history of global power while providing important indicators for the future of our world.
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Although geography had been taught in several colleges of Oxford University from at least the middle of the sixteenth century, the subject was of little importance when the RGS first approached the University in 1871. With RGS help, a Readership was established in 1887 and H. J. Mackinder appointed. The Society's contributions were increased when, in 1899, a School of Geography was founded and a diploma course was introduced. A. J. Herbertson joined Mackinder as assistant to the Reader and himself held the Readership from 1905 to his death in 1915. Financial and other problems during the First World War were overcome with the help of the RGS who continued to support the Oxford School financially until 1924 by which date some £11 000 had been contributed. In spite of the promptings of the RGS, not until 1932 was a chair of geography established and an Honour School introduced.
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form map of the world on the scale of one to a million. Despite some criticisms the project was generally approved by geographers, and resolutions supporting it were adopted by the Fifth International Geographical Congress, Berne, 1891, and subsequent congresses. For years no progress was made, since the task was clearly beyond the resources of any geographical society or publishing house. Realizing that only with the backing of Government mapping agencies could any practical progress be made, the British Government took the decisive step of inviting interested coun? tries to an international conference in London in 1909. It was then agreed that the publication of the sheets would be the task of the relevant national mapping agencies and that the sheets should conform to detailed specifications approved by the Con? ference. The President of the Conference was Colonel S. C. N. Grant, Director General of the Ordnance Survey. Colonel C. F. Close (afterwards Sir Charles Arden-Close), Head of the Geographical Section, General Staff, and the Hon. Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society, and J. Scott Keltie, Secretary R.G.S., also represented Great Britain. Professor Penck was one of the German delegation. It is clear from the records that it was on the initiative of Colonel Close that this all-important step was taken. Amendments to the decisions taken at London
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In 1919 Halford Mackinder was appointed British High Commissioner to South Russia and was sent across Eastern Europe to report upon the state of the anti-Bolshevik forces led by General Denikin. As a result of this mission, Mackinder was placed in a position where he could make recommendations to the British Cabinet concerning the geo-strategic situation in Eastern Europe and thus attempt to implement some of the ideas expressed in his book Democratic ideals and reality. Until recently many papers relating to the mission were not available and the details of Mackinder's work in South Russia were unknown. The present article is largely based upon Foreign Office, Cabinet, and personal papers which have been opened for study in recent years. The documents reveal that Mackinder prophesied very early that a Russia under Bolshevism would make the world 'an uncomfortable place for democracies' and that he advanced a plan to the British Cabinet with the aim of creating new states in order to curtail potential Soviet power.
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A DDRESSING THE GEOGRAPHICAL ASSOCIATION, as its President, in 1914, John Scott Keltie spoke of 'the crusade' which the Royal Geographical Society had begun 30 years before on behalf of 'the improvement and elevation of geography and a better recognition of the subject in education of all grades'. He was modest about his own role in the 'crusade'. 'I happened to be', he said, 'the fly on the wheel of the movement' (Keltie, 1914). Was he too modest? What was the real significance of his role? To answer such questions we must remind ourselves of the nature of the 'crusade' and of the Scott Keltie Report. But, first, at this Centennial Celebration of the publication of the Report in the RGS Supplementary Papers, 1886, let us recall John Scott Keltie himself. We shall have to forget that we are in Kensington Gore and imagine ourselves back in the increasingly overcrowded rooms of the Society in 1 Savile Row. Sir John Scott Keltie
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This paper examines the previously unaccounted activities of the Munitions Inventions Department of the UK Ministry of Munitions — one of the largest and most productive of several government advisory bodies which held responsibility for inventions research during World War I. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between that Department, the War Office, and similar wartime scientific institutions, both in Britain and abroad, and to criticisms about the lack of formal co-ordination between those institutions made to the Prime Minister by Sir Henry Norman, MP. A study of the department's role, especially in anti-aircraft research, illustrates the nature and development of scientific inquiry in the context of military organization during World War I, and highlights the tension which existed between scientists and the military over the qualification of civilians to deal authoritatively with matters relating to munitions research.
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On the afternoon of April 22, 1915, a large volume of compressed chlorine, probably close to 150 tons, was released from thousands of storage cylinders in the German trenches along the northern arc of the Ypres salient. Within minutes, dense clouds of the asphyxiating gas drifted with the wind into a four-mile-wide sector held by units of the French Forty-fifth (Algerian) and Eighty-seventh (Territorial) Divisions, killing some soldiers outright, seriously incapacitating many more, and causing hasty withdrawals of the others in much of the affected area.' Although a broad gap was thereby temporarily opened in the Allied lines, the Germans did not fully exploit their advantage. By the end of the day their infantry had overrun part of the Ypres salient and captured over fifty French and British guns, but no. strategically decisive breakthrough was attempted or achieved. 2