In Terms of Geography

André Skupin’s research interests focus on geographic visualization, cartographic generalization, data mining, and information visualization. This map was computed from more than 22,000 abstracts submitted to the annual meetings of the Association of American Geographers during a ten-year period from 1993 to 2002. The methodology is centered around the representation of each document as an n-dimensional vector of terms. These vectors are used to construct a neural network model of the geographic knowledge domain using a Self-Organizing Map (SOM). The neural network model is then transformed into two types of information: (1) a landscape in which elevation indicates the degree to which a single, focused topic is addressed; and (2) multilevel text labels associated with regions in the visualization. The final rendering was executed in standard geographic information systems (GIS) software.

Skupin, André. 2004. “The World of Geography: Visualizing a Knowledge Domain with Cartographic Means.” PNAS 101 (Suppl. 1): 5274-5278.

Skupin, André. 2005. In Terms of Geography. Courtesy of André Skupin, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. In “1st Iteration (2005): The Power of Maps,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Deborah MacPherson.