L’Espace géographique 3/96

Without summaries

L. DIAZ OLVERA, M. LE NIR, D. PLAT, Ch. RAUX. Frontier-effects: an obstacle to the understanding of international exchanges? (2 tabl., 3 fig.)

The actual context seems to be favourable to the boom of international exchanges on a European scale. The estimation of this growth usually resorts to the frontier-effects concept. The modelling of the available data enables the display of various measures which seem to be realistic but their careful analysis reveals inconsistancies. However the concept should be questioned theoretically rather than empirically. Such a process gives substance back to the space in which the border fits and leads to a renewing of the approach of the international exchanges apprehension.

Antoine FRÉMONT. For a problematic approach of the maritime and merchant space. (3 tabl., 1 fig.)

Understanding maritime space necessarily implies a descriptive study of the material infrastructure which enables it to work. Yet the globalization of exchanges, and containerization have led to a new approach in the study of maritime space. Its domination can only be global thanks to the creation of worldwide maritime networks. Maritime space can hardly be considered as an entity now. It is henceforth open to both maritime and land actors which make part of a large and homogeneous space for the flow of goods.

Olivier ORAIN. Russian geography (1845-1917). In the shadow and the light of soviet historiography. (1 tabl.)

In pre-Revolutionary Russia, geography experienced an institutional development and a blossoming very close to European standards of that time. However, for multiple reasons, it has remanied almost unknown in Western Countries where it is just being discovered. The geography historian anxious to work in this field, will have at his disposal, besides an access to texts and different sources, a weighty mediator: the Soviet historiographical tradition. Therefore, this article is first an assessment of the content, the characteristics, and the limits of this production. It points out its slow and relative professionalization following the controversies of the 1960'S. Then, a reinterpretation of the history of Russian geography from a sociohistorical point of view is outlined. It would be a question of showing that the late and uncompleted charcateristics of the institutionalization of the discipline in Russia stems from the weakness of the civil society all over the XIXth century and from specific geographical requirements of the state apparatus which did not favour the autonomy of an academic science.

Soizic ALAVOINE. The geographers' words (1907, 1970, 1992). A cross-reading of the letter A section in three geographic dictionaries. (3 tabl.)

Three dictionaries give an account of a century of the history of geography through the words it uses and the meaning it gives to each word. At three different times, an eminent geographer representing his generation wanted to mark the acquisitions of his subject-matter through a collection of words: Albert Demangeon in 1907, Pierre George in 1970 and Roger Brunet in 1992. The geographer's lexical field has changed: at the beginning he had at disposal a toponymic vocabulary and a small number of proper nouns. Then came the time of extreme specialization where physical geography was dominant and now geography is turning to a more open field: that of human geography.

Philippe MÉJEAN, Bernard VIGNON, Marc BENOÎT. Study of landscape appreciation criteria used by rural areas inhabitants in Lorraine. (3 tabl., 1 fig., 2 phot.)

Near Nancy, inhabitants of three villages (facing the same agricultural landscape) had been asked to express their opinions and expectations using landscape appreciation criteria (aesthetic and functional ones). Their comments show that they appreciate the landscape through its living aspect, its diversity and the presence of landmark components making its identity. The utilization of functional and aesthetic appreciation criteria is different according to the closer the person is to the territory and the time spent in this territory. It also depends on the functions of the village i.e. touristic, residential, agricultural. Furthermore, the same person can use different appreciation criteria as he or she modifies (functional criterion) or describes (aesthetic criterion) the landscape.

Michel LECOMPTE, Frédéric ALEXANDRE. Continuity and discontinuity of vegetation and environment. From the theory of altitude stories to dynamic phytoclimatology. (4 fig.)

At the very dawn of the 19th century, Humboldt established a sharp distinction between landscape story and continuums, a theme taken up by Schröter a century later. Botanists and phytogeographers then attempted to reconcile the two concepts by looking for discrete structures in vegetation, the climate and the associate landscapes; thus emerged a syncretic type of phytoclimatic story. The models derived from this new concept are founded on the hypothesis of the existence of plant communities and homogenous climates, yet this cannot be sustained in places dominated by climatic gradients, particularly in mountainous areas where the unwinding of species «n scales» along the slopes, depending on the climatic niche of each one, does indeed end up in the continuums sensed by Humboldt and verified by the approach of dynamic phytoclimatology.

Dominique PEETERS, Jacky PERREUR. Weber's approach on industrial location and its extensions: an assessment. (2 fig.)

Weber's works on industrial location are often presented in highly simplified form as a reference that can be forgotten because no longer relevant. In this paper, the authors review the basic model and show that in its basic version it is richer than summary versions suggest. They then expand on the way it has been developed with regard to the representations of space and the exploration of the notion of enterprise, including public services. They conclude that, by showing distance to be a synthetic factor of location, the basic model accounts for industrial organisation if we accept to broaden the impact of the weightings (mass of products to be transported) assigned to different sites.

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Last modified: October 5, 1996