Towards a Comparative Spatial Analysis for Port City Regions Based on Historical Geo-spatial Mapping

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

43 Downloads (Pure)


Researchers from multiple disciplines study ports and port cities using various forms of visualization. To better understand port cities’ challenges and opportunities, some use mathematical modeling of economic flows or shipping, while others use geo-spatial mapping of land and water territories. In the visualization of port city regions, economic geography has made especially valuable contributions. However, one limitation of the more quantitative and abstract data-based approaches is that they often fail to consider qualitative aspects and local particularities. Examining the challenges and opportunities of geo-spatial mapping, the article calls for a methodology that parallels abstract quantitative economic modeling of port city regions and their networks with historical investigation of individual port city regions with their specific local challenges and opportunities. The article develops visualizations of the historical development of three port city regions that have developed in relation to each other around the North Sea and that we are using as pilot studies: Rotterdam, Hamburg, and London. The article concludes that this type of geo-spatial analysis can connect quantitative and qualitative approaches, help identify historical forms, spatial structures, and governance patterns with lasting importance for decision-making in port city regions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Port city regions
  • Historical geo-spatial mapping
  • Methodology
  • Comparative spatial analyses

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Towards a Comparative Spatial Analysis for Port City Regions Based on Historical Geo-spatial Mapping'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this