Postgraduate research - SSEES/UCL, Uni. London, 1994-97

Following on from my MA at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) Between 1994 and 1997, I undertook research towards a PHd. The research pursued several objectives simultaneously and was entitled: "The Potential for Propagandistic Abuse of Ethnographic Cartography, with Special Reference to the Banat and Bačka".

My plan at the time was - alongside and supporting the thesis - to produce a sort of GIS-system-based sequence of maps of the settlements of the Banat and Bacska regions (as defined in 1910), portraying changes in the nationality or mother tongues as recorded by the Austrian, Hungarian, Yugoslav, Romanian censuses and a WWII German 'stocktake'.

The compilation of data for 1,070 settlements, from 20 censuses organised by six states in German, Hungarian, Romanian and Serbo-Croat (both Latin and Cyrillic) , was complex and extremly time consuming, and the mapping I produced, using Golden Software's Mapviewer v.2 - apart from the successful rendering of diacritics - was limited, in great part due to inherent limitations in the software. When version 3 was released, a character which I had used to flag diacritics had been reserved to the system, so I could not continue down this route. Then I suffered a serious corruption in my data files.

Furthermore, the Internet was in its early public stages, Windows 95 (A) Central European Edition was very unstable and the source of endless breakdown, Macromedia F(uture Sp)lash was barely known, and the contemporary Internet browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer v.3, 4, 5 and Netscape Navigator v. 1 - v.4.08) were very immature. I joined the ONS before completion of the PhD and raised a family.

Failure to complete the research bugged me ever since, and over 2013 and 2014, I applied the experience gained in ONS' Data Visualisation Centre and ONS Geography to the region. This additional work resulted in a sequence of maps using Adobe Flash player and ESRI's ArcGISonline.

Thesis outline

Banat and Bačka
Geography
Climate
Historical overview, from the medieval to recent days.

Thematic, or ethnographic, maps

Development of the discipline;
Visualisation of areas of complex populations;
Method and subterfuge - mapping as a political tool;

As applied to the Banat and Bačka

Ethnic cartography of the Banat and Bačka;
German, Hungarian and Romanian approaches.

Outputs

Final version of the thesis may be found here.
GIS database and mapping resource was developed using Golden Software MapViewer and Corel Quattro Pro
Paper One: A brief Population History of the Vojvodina, 1683-1718 Geographica Pannonica (Novi Sad, (then) Yugoslvia)
Paper Two: Geographic and Economic Influences on the Colonisation of the Banat Geographica Pannonica
Paper Three: German Evacuation of the Banat, 1944. Unpublished
Place name register compiled for the 1,070 settlements of the Banat and Bačka enumerating all published toponyms in German Hungarian, Romanian and Serbo-Croat (Latin and Cyrillic)
Simple website for Paper Two.

2013-14 Banat Bacska Project

Link to dedicated page

blog link to blog