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"Globalization, regionalization, urbanization: an analysis of the worldwide maritime network since the early 18th century" (WORLD SEASTEMS)
Start date: Mar 1, 2013, End date: Feb 28, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The main goal of the ""World Seastems"" project is to map for the first time the changing spatial pattern of the world economy from a maritime perspective across 300 years. It will exploit untapped vessel movement data available since 1734, date of the first Lloyd's List register. There are three main goals of the project. First, it aims at mapping for the first time the spatial distribution of almost 300 years of maritime flows in a dynamic and interactive manner. A geomatics visualisation platform will also integrate advanced analytical tools to simplify the pattern of shipping routes and corridors, and to extract meaningful information from the original data, with both scientific and pedagogical outcomes. Second, the project will look at the topological and spatial structure of the global network of inter-port links with reference to graph theory, social network analysis, and complex networks. The global properties of the network can be compared with general models of networks, while the evolution of macroscopic measures will be explored in relation with wider structural and conjectural changes in the world system (e.g. world wars, revolutions, crises) in terms of network expansion, shrinkage, concentration and polarisation. Internally, the search for coherent substructures (i.e. clusters, communities of ports, économies-mondes) will focus on the emergence of world regions and regional integration processes, also as a means revealing spheres of influence of world's main powers. Third, we wish to look at the co-evolution of maritime transport and urban/regional development. The evolution of (port) cities and hinterlands as well as the inter-connectivity between maritime and land-based transport networks are crucial aspects to be explored, benefitting from the integration of other global databases on urban population, trade flows, socio-economic characteristics of nations and regions, etc."

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