Several researchers and engineers from GIP RECLUS (notably Patrick Brossier, Christian Carrié and Patricia Cicille) have produced this Interactive Atlas of Vietnam.
This digital version is a complement to the paper version of the Atlas of Vietnam, published by Documentation Française and RECLUS under direction of Christian Taillard et Vû Tu Lâp.
All documents extracted from the interactive atlas must mention:
© RECLUS - VKHXHVN - TCTKVN 1994
The original Choroscope® software package was written by Philippe Waniez, an ORSTOM researcher working at RECLUS.
The present version of the software has been entirely rewritten by François BRET (7 allée des cèdres F-37300 Joué-les-Tours)
Choroscope® is a registered trademark of RECLUS and ORSTOM
Copyright © GIP RECLUS 1995
Objectives and principles
How Choroscope® works
Interactive map exploration:
Configuration and installation requirements
The menus of Choroscope®
How to use Choroscope®?
Comparative mapping method
A spatial model of Vietnam
Return to GIP RECLUS main page
Like any other atlas, Choroscope® provides information, i.e. analysed data, highlighting the major characteristics of the phenomena under scrutiny and pointing to essential features.
The basic principle is to help the user visualise maps associated with one or several parameters that he wishes to study.
It should be noted however that Choroscope is not cartography software: it only displays existing maps thus enabling non-specialists to visualise data that have been analysed by specialists.
As the structure of computer cartography software data has been retained both in the basemaps and in the statistical data matrix, many possibilities for exploration are offered to users who are not themselves cartographers but who may nevertheless find step-by-step answers to their queries. This interactive element should enable decision-makers to make territory analysis part of their development strategies.
This will also provide teachers at all levels with a valuable teaching tool to demonstrate the need for spatial representation of economic information.
RECLUS Interactive Atlases are based on the Choroscope® software package (from the Greek khora, country, and skopein, to examine).
First load the software, then select an area. Choose one indicator (simple mapping) or several (cross-mapping). The names of spatial units can be displayed on the map. It is then possible to proceed further by selecting one spatial unit for comparison. The following steps consist of choosing other spatial units, other indicators or other areas to be compared.
Choroscope® proposes two methods for exploring maps: simple mapping and cross-mapping, with the added facility of map analysis by comparison with a given spatial reference unit.
1. Simple mapping
This aims at solving the usual problem of the spatial distribution of one particular phenomenon (as measured by one indicator). The major features of this particular distribution are thus highlighted.
There are two methods for representing the frequency of a particular phenomenon:
This method is designed to answer questions concerning the links between several indicators.
2.1. Simple crossing
Maps representing two indicators may be visualised: the aim is either to approach phenomena in terms of their development or to identify similarities between phenomena.
In the first case one of the indicators describes a phenomenon in terms of numbers at one given time, while the other shows a ratio. The resulting map has proportional coloured circles, each circle representing numbers and the colour the associated class of values.
In the second case, two phenomena are analysed in terms of their importance. Indicators represent numbers. Maps therefore show semi-circles, each of these corresponding to the number attached to either of the two indicators.
2.2. Complex cross-referencing
Choroscope® makes it possible to make complex cross-references, based on the congruency of spatial phenomena. As the user can select one or several categories for several (2 to 4) indicators he is then able to visualise the frequency of simultaneous occurrences.
3. Comparison between spatial units
Choroscope® performs the following functions:
The aim is to identify areas presenting similarities. This means that one common method of thematic map browsing - division into classes - is used systematically.
RECLUS Interactive Atlases work on PC compatible with a 386 or above processor with
Runs under WINDOWS 3.0 and later versions
Be careful: if no printer is connected, you must nevertheless have installed one in configure panel.
Note: the programme can be included in a group (see instructions for Windows); a Choroscope® icon then becomes available (choose mappa mundi).
Starting from WINDOWS, double-click on the Choroscope® icon.
If the programme has not been installed as part of a group, go to CHOROVN directory (File manager) and double-click vchorovn.exe to start the application.
From the File menu, choose Open.
When a dialogue box is displayed, select vieteng.ini.
This map results from the cross-referencing of two variables, one representing population groups, the other a ratio (see 2.1. Simple crossing).
This map results from the simultaneous representation of two variables representing population groups (see 2.1. Simple crossing).
This map has been obtained by theme cross-referencing representing a) population groups and b) a ratio.
Note: the map is displayed in a Theme cross-reference window.
The geographical units of Choroscope® are nested at two levels. Exploration can therefore be detailed to the level of a specific sub-area.
To do this, click the Map window with the right-hand mouse button (outside basemap). The window then displays a list of sub-areas click the one you want to display the map for the chosen area. To return to the general map, choose Overview option.
Note: a map based on this type of comparison is displayed in comparison between spatial unit.
Choroscope® enables users to select page settings (in A4 format) of maps for printing.
Four models have been used to provide an overview of the major patterns of Vietnam. The first of these is the dichotomy between highlands on the one hand and the two Deltas and the groups of islands on the other. The second model highlights the uneven distribution of population and the sharp differences between North and South. The third basic model identifies the meridional axis and gateways, the backbone of the country. The fourth reproduces the dynamics of the urban systems on which Vietnam's spatial organisation rests, with the inner orbital pattern and successive peripheral areas.
Last modified: June 20, 1995Please send comments and suggestions to