Digital Atlas of Geopolitical Imaginaries of Eastern Central Europe

In the historical and cultural sciences as well as in geography, the impact of spatial images on political judgements and decisions to act is beyond question. Cartographic visualisations of political areas are here regarded as important instruments. Taking the example of cartographic and mass-media representations, and with the help of interdisciplinary resources, the task set is to examine the possibilities for using new media in visualising spatial images in transnational contexts. Historical contexts and the semantics of visual images and terms are to be taken into account, as well as habits of reading and viewing that are related to a specific time or group.

Eastern central Europe lends itself to this particularly well: in many ways it was shaped in the 20th century by shifting borders, hotchpotches of different ethnic and religious groups, strife between majorities and minorities, competing concepts of geographical areas, ideological ruptures through geographical areas, and the dynamic reconfiguration of geographical interrelationships since 1989.

The project consists of three closely intertwined components:

  • The "Digitaler Atlas politischer Raumbilder zu Ostmitteleuropa" (DAPRO)  (Digital Atlas of Spatial Images – Eastern Central Europe), which is to conceptualised during the project term and then to be implemented in a first version.
  • Four dissertation projects intended to reinforce the atlas empirically, and to optimise it conceptually and theoretically. To this end, for individual periods the principles of presentation and the logic of perception in cartographic representations are analysed, as well as political patterns of evaluation and strategies for displaying the material.
  • In addition the project aims at conveying the information by means of knowledge media and at giving constancy and continuity to the project architecture in a transnational context. The network of the four Leibniz Association members, important university-based structures, clusters of excellence and particularly relevant research institutes as well as international experts are integrated into the project.


Losang, Eric H. (2013): Unveiling historical maps - the interdisciplinary Atlas of Geopolitical Imaginaries of East Central Europe. In: Buchroitner, Manfred F. et al. (Hrsg.): ICC 2013 From pole to pole. Proceedings of the 26th International Cartographic Conference, August 25-30, 2013, Dresden, Germany. Dresden, Abstract S. 823; extended Abstract (pdf)

Hänsgen, Dirk (2012): Chorematische Kartensprache zwischen französischem Geodesign und deutscher Geopolitik – ein Leseversuch. In: Haslinger, Peter / Oswalt, Vadim (Hrsg.): Kampf der Karten. Propaganda- und Geschichtskarten als politische Instrumente und Identitätstexte. Marburg: Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung, S. 62-84 (Tagungen zur Ostmitteleuropaforschung; 30)

Project information

Project team

Dirk Hänsgen, Eric Losang, Ute Wardenga, Stephan Pietsch


Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe (HI) – –Institute of the Leibniz Association; Georg Eckert Institute (GEI) – Leibniz Institute for International Textbook Research; Knowledge Media Research Centre (KMRC)

Duration of project


Funded by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research / Leibniz Association

Further information

Ute Wardenga

Dirk Hänsgen


Our website uses cookies to enhance your user experience.

For analysis we use the web service Matomo. Your personal information - including your IP address - will be anonymized prior to processing. Please consent to our cookies by clicking the “OK” button.