Jean-Philippe DAMAIS. A return to free access to small-scale statistical data is essential for research (4 fig)
The rules governing the dissemination of data from censuses have been changed dramatically by the CNIL since 1989. Academic researchers have been barred from accessing small-scale data (at the level of housing blocks) from censuses and are thus unable to measure or characterise the spatial reality of the intra-urban socio-demographic fault-lines and segregations that we nevertheless know to be increasingly stark. It therefore appears vital for the future of research on the trends and dynamics of the internal structures of urbanised spaces to denounce this withholding of public information and the resulting curtailment of such research; to reiterate the specific contribution of analysis on the scale of housing blocks; to demand that researchers once again enjoy free access to data from censuses and the freedom to publish data on scales that they consider relevant for their research and demonstrations, i.e. for the unhampered progression and transmission of knowledge.
keywords: CENSUS, CNIL, INTRA-URBAN (ANALYSIS), PUBLIC STATISTICS, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Legal and ethical aspects of access to data in the social sciences
On 10 November 1999, on the initiative of the joint committee on research and statistics, a forum on «research, informatics and freedoms» was held at the CNRS in Paris. The forum was attended by around 100 researchers from various disciplines (demography, geography, sociology, epidemiology, medicine), lawyers, statisticians, administrators from INSEE, and government officials such as Jean-Marie Delarue, a senior member of the Council of State and vice-chairman of the CNIL, the French data protection watchdog.
The research community is directly concerned by the amendments to be made to the law on data protection in the coming months. As part of European harmonisation, the national law on data protection (1978), amended for epidemiology by the law of 1984, must be brought into line with Directive 95/46/CE of the European Parliament and Council of 24 October 1995. The 1978 law created a climate of reciprocal mistrust that did little to favour cooperation and dialogue.
keywords: CONFIDENTIALITY, PUBLIC STATISTICS, RESEARCH, SOCIAL SCIENCES
Michel BUSSI. Updating the population census: issues and debates
The exhaustive census of the French population conducted in 1999 will probably be the last of its kind. INSEE, the national statistics institute, proposes replacing it with continuous estimates, which should take effect after the municipal elections of 2001, and provide their first results by the municipal elections of 2007.
keywords: FRANCE, POPULATION CENSUS, PUBLIC RESEARCH, PUBLIC STATISTICS
Véronique MONDOU. The division of urban space into housing blocks: application to an analysis of a public transport network (3 fig.)
An analysis of the servicing of the population by an intra-urban public transport network requires the use of indicators and methods appropriate to the scale of people's daily travel. The use of socio-demographic data on the scale of the housing block makes it possible to delimit the population groups that benefit the most from the network. The social profile of the population groups serviced-and not serviced-is shown to be crucial.
keywords: HAUTE-NORMANDIE, INTRA-URBAN, SPATIAL ANALYSIS, TRANSPORT
Isabelle THOMAS. Present and future of the Belgian population and housing census (1 fig.)
In Belgium, researchers have access to data from the population and housing census. The census is held every ten years and enables spatial studies to be conducted on an intra-urban scale (statistical sectors) : on demographic and socio-economic data, on housing and on alternating migration. As in other countries, the census is now being called into question. This paper gives a brief overview of the state of play in Belgium and defends the census for the purposes of research including spatial components: as yet, no other database can suitably replace the census!
keywords: BELGIUM, PUBLIC STATISTICS, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Sarah CURTIS. Micro-local statistics from the British population census: access to data for the scientific community
This paper deals with the access of university researchers to micro-local data from the census of the British population. It aims to contribute to the debate on access to micro-local statistics from the French census and their suitability for the purposes of research. A discussion on the way in which the issue is dealt with in other countries may enhance reflection in France.
keywords: CENSUS, GREAT BRITAIN, PUBLIC STATISTICS, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Researchers' access to public data in Sweden
Swedish statistics are reputed to be precise, exhaustive and relatively accessible. They provide long-term, relatively homogeneous series and information at varied, small-scale levels of observation. This situation raises questions. What are its sources? How is this information currently organised? What are the consequences of this situation for geographical research in Sweden?
keywords: PUBLIC STATISTICS, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, SWEDEN
Access to small-scale data in the United States
Currently, residents and researchers in the United States enjoy free or low-cost access to small-scale data, which nevertheless protects the confidentiality of individuals. This is an essential pre-condition for any intra-urban research.
keywords: CENSUS, PUBLIC STATISTICS, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, UNITED STATES
Benoît ANTHEAUME. The most recent general population census in South Africa
After years of wayward attempts to estimate its population, South Africa conducted a census in 1996, whose results, corrected several times, were only made official in 1998. The lack of previous comparable data and the technical difficulties involved in counting some population groups mean that it should be used with caution.
keywords: CENSUS, POPULATION, SOUTH AFRICA
Hervé THÉRY, Philippe WANIEZ. Access to data to enhance knowledge of territory: the case of Brazil (2 fig.)
Access to localised statistical data seems, paradoxically, to be easier in Brazil, a developing country, than in France, which is so proud of its public statistics.
keywords: BRAZIL, PUBLIC STATISTICS, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
A regular, accessible population census: the example of India
The population census in India is an immense operation, which has been conducted every ten years since 1881. Today, the census involves counting 1 billion people, about whom it is possible to obtain detailed information, which is collected and published on the scale of villages-administrative units roughly equivalent to our municipalities. Of course, some criticisms can be made, since some information that would be useful for researchers is lacking-such as reference to cast, for example-but the regularity, quality and accessibility of the information provided by the Indian census make it exemplary.
keywords: INDIA, PUBLIC STATISTICS, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Christina ASCHAN-LEYGONIE. Analysing the resilience of spatial systems (2 fig.)
The concept of resilience has its origins in physics, but is particularly developed in ecology. It implies the capacity of a system to integrate a disruption to its operation, without changing its qualitative structure. This paper seeks to apply this notion and its conceptual framework to a particular geographical problem: the dynamics of spatial systems. The long-term continuity of a system is analysed in various ways, depending on the field and purpose of research. In geography, a frequently posed question is the temporal stability of spatial structures. If these structures are maintained through disturbed periods, they can be considered to have a capacity for resilience. The aim here is to explore the possibilities of adapting the concept of resilience from ecological issues to geographical problems.
keywords: RESILIENCE, SPATIAL SYSTEM, SYSTEMS ANALYSIS
The semantics of metropolisation
While the use of the term "metropolisation" is increasing, its definition remains vague. Is it an economic phenomenon or a spatial process? Rather than a theoretical or epistemological question, it is a key to the understanding, management and development of urbanised spaces. It therefore seems appropriate to examine, at least partially, the concept of metropolisation. Although it seems an empty canvas today and we are still far from being able to link observation to theory, the importance of the issues that it raises or reactivates will be likely to place it at the centre of geographical discussion tomorrow.
keywords: CONCEPT, METROPOLISATION, MOBILITY, URBANISATION, VOCABULARY
Space and music: Répons by Boulez (1 fig.)
Through the example of Répons, composed by Pierre Boulez, we approach the relationship between space and music. This short study shows that space is interpreted in similar ways by contemporary musicians and geographers.
keywords: BOULEZ, MUSIC, SOUND SPACE, SPATIAL DYNAMICS, SPATIALISATION
In this issue of l’Espace géographique, you will find critical reviews of the following books
BATAILLON Cl. (1997). Espacios mexicanos contemporaneos. México: Colegio de Méjico, Fondo de cultura económica, 201 p.
BONNEUIL Noël (1997). Transformation of the French demographic landscape, 1806-1906. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 218 p.
BOVIN, Ph. coord. (1997). Las Fronteras del Istmo. Fronteras y sociedades entre el Sur de México y América central. México D.F.: CEMCA-CIESAS, 350 p.
Bulletin du Crédit Commercial (1999)Villes d'Europe, cartographie comparative (Chr. Vandermotten et al.), Bruxelles, n° 207-208, 408 p. ill. format A4.
REGNAULT H. (1998). L’Espace, une vue de L’esprit? Rennes: PUR, Coll. «Espace et territoires», 124 p.
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