Methods of investigating Space

The concept of "space" plays a significant role in a wide variety of disciplines in the humanities, social and natural sciences, for example in linguistics, geography, social anthropology or ethnology. Especially in recent times, the aspect of mapping has received new and refined impulses through the establishment of digital methods.

For instance, since linguistics began to study linguistic variation in space in the 19th century (primarily in dialectology), the linguistic map has been the tool of choice for representing linguistic features in their geographical distribution. In the (apparent) immediacy of representing geographic linguistic information, it also serves as a tool for interpreting the distribution of linguistic items. This apparent immediacy often makes one forget that ultimately each map is a form of diagram intended to make the relations between feature and location in space comprehensible in a visual/empirical way, or to help uncover the individual nexus.

This perspective allows us to rethink the visualization of spatial data. The Research Day invites all research disciplines from the humanities and social sciences that work with empirical data related to space to present their conceptualizations, visualizations and statistical interpretations of space or space-related research questions. The aim of this dialogue-oriented, interdisciplinary research day is the methodological exchange between the disciplines, learning from each other, and possibly discovering common research interests and methods as well as previously unknown parallels.

In the center of the inter-institutional and explicitly dialogue-oriented research day on methology(s) of space are, for example, the following research questions: How can multidimensional features related to a geographical reference point be represented and what statistical methods of interpretation are available? Are there ways to represent spatial distances that go beyond the standard cartographic approach and where can spatial distance be replaced by temporal distance? To what extent can methods that go beyond the purely visual interpretation of maps (e.g., hot spot analyses, interpolation methods) help uncover geographic patterns? Which tools (e.g., from the field of GIScience) are used in a disciplinary and interdisciplinary manner? What are their specializations and what are their methodological limitations? What are the data requirements for different (geo)statistical methods? What are current digital trends and where do they come from?


23 April 2024


Austrian Academy of Sciences
Sonnenfelsgasse 19
1010 Vienna

Call for Papers

We accept abstracts (400 words) in German or English for talks (20 minutes plus 10 minutes discussion). Please send your abstracts until 8 January 2024 to Martina Werner, Philipp Stöckle, and Markus Kunzmann.

Notification of acceptance: end of January