Non-terrotorial spatial formats: Insights into the toolkit of map analyses

Jana Moser, Sofia Gavrilova, Philip Meyer (all IfL)

Publication Date

February 2024


SFB 1199 (Leipzig U)




Working Paper


People perceive, consider and use space in various ways and such spatial perceptions change constantly. In history some spatial views became solidified, while others were unstable, both depending on the actors and actor groups which used them. In the last two centuries, the global condition as the inescapable tendency of global interconnectedness of regions, states and places, of people, goods and capital facilitated the shaping of one prominent territorial spatial format: the nation state. At the same time, other cross- or non-territorial forms continued to develop: spatial formats of networking and cooperation and associated regulations, or those formats that emerged in the context of the human-nature relationship. Nonetheless, these connections and non-territorial spatial formats continue to coexist with territorial ones and together they form complex spatial orders that are in tension between spatial integration and spatial dissociation. School atlases and maps always contain traces of these different spatial formats and their inherent tensions. The paper explores these traces and discusses ways of critically analyzing and interpreting them in order to make them fruitful for further spatial research.

Biographical Notes

Dr. Jana Moser

Jana Moser is head of the department “Cartography and Visual Communication” and coordinator of the research area “Geovisualisations” at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography.

Dr. Sofia Gavrilova

Sofia Gavrilova is a human geographer of the post-Soviet spaces. She has been working in the field of the human geography and social anthropology of post-Soviet countries, focusing on the production of the ‘military landscapes’, ‘the North’, border regions, and peripheries during and after socialism.

Dr. Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer studied History and Comparative Literature as well as Journalism at Leipzig University and the University Avignon. Since 2018 he is a researcher at IfL, before he worked there as an research assitant.