Richardson in the Information Age: Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Data in International Studies
Kristian Skrede Gleditsch and Nils B. Weidmann
Annual Review of Political Science 15(1)
There is an enduring interest in how geographic features influence political interactions and outcomes, and many key factors highlighted in international relations and cross-national research vary spatially within countries. Starting with the pioneering research of Richardson, we show how geographic information systems (GIS) technology and the increasing availability of spatial data can provide new opportunities to answer old and new questions. We focus on key motivations for using spatial disaggregated data and show how such data can be used in current research, drawing on examples from the study of violent conflict.