Research >> Publications
Here you will find specialised publications published in different periodicals, anthologies, or other types of publications. (Now detail information about titles only in Czech)
The publications are classified as follows: first teaching texts, then articles in periodicals, papers in conference anthologies, exhibitions and popularized articles and reviews. The most recent publications are placed on the top.
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Other texts are available under my profile on ResearchGate
Navigation and maps from the other side of the world / Article in Journal / Vesmír / Jan D. Bláha / 7 / 2023 / 410-413
Abstract: Contribution to cultural cartography: the European character of navigation and map orientation are already an integral part of the global paradigm in cartography. On the other side of the world, however, there are still, not only in collective memory, other cultural variants of understanding of geographical space.
Keywords: cultural cartography, navigation, Marshall Islands, Oceania, Papua New Guinea
Macro-regional Divergent and Convergent Trends in the Global Economy / Article in Journal / Political Econony / Jiří Anděl, Ivan Bičík, Jan D. Bláha / 1 / 2022 / 77–96
Abstract: Current global trends belong to important branches of economic research. This article discusses changes among different parts of the world: do these changes increase or decrease over time? Are convergent trends more important within the global system than the divergent ones or vice versa? Changes are examined on the base of so-called world’s macro-regions over the period 1970–2018, when the bipolar world has changed into a unipolar one and is currently moving towards multipolarity. The study aims to determine which global processes show divergent/convergent trends using different methodological approaches. It also discusses and explains the changing character of trends over time. The authors reach conclusions that exclude one-sidedness of the observed development trends, which derive from the multiplicity of factors influencing them.
Keywords: global processes, world economy, economic development, divergence and convergence
The Influence of Textbook Visual Quality of Geographical Phenomena on Children’s Conceptions / Article in Journal / Journal of Geography / Petr Trahorsch, Jan D. Bláha / / 2022 / 1–15
Abstract: The aim of the presented study is to evaluate the influence of the quality of visuals in printed geography textbooks on the character of children’s conceptions using the example of the geographical location concept. Visuals are a graphical representation of a certain phenomenon. A two-tier diagnostic test without and with three types of high and low quality physical-geographical visuals was used to achieve this objective. The research study among elementary school students (n = 434) has shown that students are mostly unable to work effectively with visuals due to their inappropriate properties such as headline quality or factual errors.
Keywords: visual, geography textbook, learning from visuals, misconception, children’s conceptions
Conceptual mapping of geography textbook content on the example of the desert biome / Article in Journal / European Journal of Geography / Petr Trahorsch, Jan D. Bláha, Kristýna Ryčlová / 4 / 2022 / 45–64
Abstract: The aim of this study is to identify the key terms used by textbook authors when presenting desert biomes and, subsequently, to visualise the relationships between them using a conceptual map. To achieve this objective, we assessed geography textbooks using conceptual maps, which can be used to conceptualise this topic. The method used is innovative in textbook research and can be used to present results in a visual form with added value. A total of eleven university students created conceptual maps for each of the five analysed textbooks, and this was followed by a synthesis and comparison of the created maps. The effectiveness and clarity of the analysed content is one of the advantages of this visual form of analysis. The data were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. The results show that the presentation of desert biomes in the textbooks we analysed is somewhat superficial, as the authors do not strive to interconnect concepts from different areas, and their conceptual maps lack higher hierarchy levels. Therefore, textbook authors should opt for a different conceptual approach to explanatory texts instead of the traditional coverage of the individual components of geographical environments.
Keywords: geography textbook, textbook analysis, desert, conceptual mapping
Children’s conceptions of deserts in primary school pupils in spatial contexts / Article in Journal / Geographical Information / Petr Trahorsch, Jan D. Bláha, Pavel Mlýnek, Barbora Koníčková / 1 / 2022 / 167–179
Abstract: The aim of the paper is to evaluate the state of children’s conceptions and possible misconceptions regarding spatial contexts of deserts among lower secondary school students. To fulfill the aim, a combination of two research methods was used, namely the analysis of children’s drawings and mental mapping. It is this combination of methods that can identify the spatial context of children’s conceptions of pupils with different assumptions. The results of the study carried out among 592 respondents show that pupils have a very stereotyped and glorified concept of the desert; individuals imagine the desert mainly as a sandy area with minimal rainfall and typical flora and fauna, such as cactus, palm tree, camel, etc. The vast majority of students are able to locate deserts in North Africa, but in other regions they have a problem with localization. A common misconception is the localization of deserts in the region of central South America, i.e., in the region where tropical rainforests are found.
Keywords: children’s conceptions, desert, mental map, misconception, children’s drawing
What brings together a system of new didactic tools for working with a map? / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha, Petr Trahorsch / 2 / 2022 / 26–29
Abstract: The system of didactic aids for working with maps, which consists of the Pupil’s Atlas, Workbook and Teacher’s Guide, is a new opportunity for geographic education at the lower secondary education (ISCED 2). The authors present the concept of the system, including its implementation in practice and visions for the future.
Keywords: school atlas, workbook, teacher’s guide, working with a map, creating tasks with a map
Structural Cartographic Analysis of a Thematic Atlas Work: Example of the Czech Historical Atlas / Article in Journal / / Tomáš Janata, Petra Jílková, Jan D. Bláha / 1 / 2021 / 365-376
Abstract: The article introduces the Czech historiographical work called the Czech Historical Atlas and presents its analysis in terms of its concept, structure and technical layout. The primary focus is on the atlas content and its subdivision into thematic and logical sections or the semiological structure of the used space. Last but not least, the cartographic and technical aspects of the atlas format are also analysed, including, for example, the analysis of used scales or cartographic projections. The findings are presented through a series of visuals and interpreted in the context of the thematic concept of the atlas. The authors’ aim is to present the currently not much addressed structural analysis of a cartographic atlas, which allows revealing the potential for the innovation of an original cartographic work.
Keywords: Historiography, atlas cartography, Czech Historical Atlas, cartographic semiology
Where is Central Europe? Delimitation of the region based on mental maps / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Aleš Nováček, Jan D. Bláha / 5 / 2021 / 4-7
Abstract: This article introduces a research carried out in eight Central European countries (which were considered “Central European” by the authors and referred to as Central European in the most relevant literature), where students marked the borders of Central Europe using mental maps based on their subjective perception. The article presents the resulting region delimitation, aggregated on the basis of these maps, compares the differences in the delimitation of Central Europe in individual countries and suggest some explanations of these differences.
Keywords: Central Europe, mental map, spatial perception, delimitation, region, borders
The aura of tattoos: The commodification of tradition in Buscalan village, the Philippines / Article in Journal / Asian Journal of Social Science / Martin Soukup, Dušan Lužný, Jan D. Bláha, Jaroslav Skupnik / 3 / 2021 / 153–160
Abstract: The present study focuses on the ongoing shift in the meaning and importance of traditional Kalinga tattoos that is happening in Buscalan village in the Philippines. The starting point for the analysis is the conception of disintegration of “the aura”, as defined by Walter Benjamin, resulting from their disembedding from time and space that is caused by technological reproducibility of the artworks. The study shows that the basis of the aura of Buscalan tattoos is their relation to a successful headhunt. At present, tattoos in Buscalan are standing on the edge, because the high popularity of the last tattoo artist who tattooed the head-hunters leads to commodification of traditional tattoos and an increase in tourism in the particular area. The study describes a two-way process of disintegration and preservation of the aura of Buscalan tattoos: on the one hand, the tradition of tattooing headhunters has disappeared, but on the other hand, the aura of tattoos is preserved thanks to audiovisual means and sharing on social networking sites. The “here and now ”of the place and its tattoos is being transferred into the hyper-reality where Buscalan tattoos are gaining a new dimension.
Keywords: Philippines, tattoo, aura of tattoo, commodification, tradition
The Typology of the World’s Macro-regions / Article in Journal / Romanian Journal of Geography / Jiří Anděl, Jan D. Bláha, Ivan Bičík / 2 / 2021 / 187–201
Abstract: The article deals with changing differences among the world’s macro-regions. It examines whether these differences tend to expand or not. Do convergent or divergent trends prevail within the global system? Changes are studied on the basis of the so-called world’s macro-regions that have a high degree of social, economic, and cultural homogeneity. In the parts ʻThe Forming of the World’s Macro-Regionsʼ and ʻThe Typology of the World’s Macro-Regionsʼ the authors explain different macro-regions including their typology. The core part of this article critically evaluates trends in the development of the world’s macro-regions; changes in the basic indicators in different macro-regions between 1990 and 2016 are explained. Contradictory trends (divergence and convergence) often appear. The findings are further discussed in a broader geopolitical framework.
Keywords: the complexity of the world, divergence and convergence, global processes, typology, world’s macro-regions
The usability of economic maps for students of various age groups: an example for a discussion of a multi-stage concept of teaching aids / Article in Journal / International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education / Petr Trahorsch, Jan D. Bláha, Silvie R. Kučerová / 2 / 2020 / 129-145
Abstract: Economic maps in school atlases are specific types of maps that represent extra-complex maps with multi-layer and fast-developing content over time. The objective of this article is to discuss a multi-stage curriculum in connection with the results of an assessment of the usability of economic maps by lower and upper secondary school students. The survey was conducted using a questionnaire and didactic test on a sample of 120 lower secondary school and 73 upper secondary school students in Czechia. Differing results among two age groups were mainly in the identification of cartographic signs; as a key factor for the correct identification of cartographic signs, a combination of alphanumeric and geometric features has been shown. On the other hand, significant differences were not identified in the question of suitability of colouring cartographic signs. The survey results show that the map key of economic maps should be designed in multiple stages with regard to the appropriateness and comprehensibility of cartographic signs for students of both age groups. This study proves that preparing specific geographic atlases for lower and upper secondary school students can play a key role in the teaching of geography.
Keywords: economic map, map key, school atlas, curriculum, geography education
The phenomenon of borders in an interdisciplinary context / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha, Martin Soukup / 1 / 2020 / 4–7 + online 1–7
Abstract: Borders are one of the general concepts used in a number of disciplines. Therefore, understanding the meaning of borders in the context of particular fields is crucial. The spatial context of understanding borders, which is highly important for geographers, then takes on a whole new dimension.
Keywords: borders, culture, territorial identity, development of borders
World’s Macro-regions: Divergent and Convergent Trends Since Early 1970s / Article in Journal / Acta Geographica Universitatis Comenianae / Jiří Anděl, Ivan Bičík, Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2020 / 141–159
Abstract: Current global trends are in the focus of scientific research. This article deals with one of the crucial problems: do the differences among different parts of the world tend to grow or not? In other words, what prevails globally: divergent or convergent processes? Global changes are studied in specially designated parts of the world, so-called world’s macro-regions. Changes in the period 1970-2016 (when multipolar world has replaced the bipolar one) are examined. Using different methodical approaches, the study aims to clarify which global process are rather divergent/convergent and how these processes look like in different world’s macro-regions. For several reasons, especially in the pursuit of economic growth and the fulfillment of geopolitical interests, today several states and macro-regions are trying not only to gain regional dominance, but also to gain the position of a global world player. Changing character of global trends are discussed, too.
Keywords: global processes, divergence and convergence, differences throughout the world, world’s macro-regions
Exogenous Cultural Change in the Background of the Generational Change: The Case from Papua New Guinea / Article in Journal / Slovak Ethnology / Martin Soukup, Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2019 / 216–230
Abstract: An analysis of cultural change and generation gaps in the local community of the Nungon ethnic group in the state of Papua New Guinea will be the subject of the study. This ethnic group came into contact with Europeans for the first time in the mid-1930s. The pace of cultural changes within the community has been gradually increasing. For example, the local animistic cult has been replaced with Christianity, school attendance has been introduced in the villages of Nungon, travel opportunities have become more accessible, and as the mobile signal has recently been introduced, Nungon residents can now connect to the internet and access information about the globalised world. Those who remember the colonial period still live in the community and many of them are still illiterate, with only limited knowledge of Pidgin English, the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea. On the other hand, the youngest generation can study in cities or experiment with social media and share information there. The aim of the paper is not only to show intergenerational differences, but also to document the local history and its ties to particular generations and show the role the generational memory played in illiterate societies with unwritten history. The only existing written and photographic documents were created by colonial officers. The study will show the transformation of the Nungon community from the time of photographs kept in boxes to the youngest generation, which keeps photographs in mobile phones and shares them on social media.
Keywords: generation gap, Papua New Guinea, cultural change, colonialism, christianity, education, Chinese influence
RIV: DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/se-2019-0012
Comparative Analysis of the Quality of Visuals in Geography Textbooks for ISCED 1 and ISCED 2 Levels of Education / Article in Journal / (RIGEO) Review of International Geographical Education Online / Petr Trahorsch, Jan D. Bláha, Vlastimil Chytrý / 2 / 2019 / 264-283
Abstract: The aim of the article is to assess the quality of visualisation of geomorphology, hydrology and agriculture of Czechia through maps, schemes and photographs in geography textbooks for ISCED 1 and ISCED 2 levels of education. A total of 15 geography textbooks were selected and a total of 90 visuals from these textbooks were analysed. The scaling method according to defined criteria relating to the concept of usability was applied. The data obtained through scaling was subsequently statistically analysed. The outcomes of the statistical analysis show that the quality of visualisation in textbooks for the older cohort is higher than in textbooks for younger students. The quality of the assessed visuals is linked especially to the tradition of publishing houses, as visuals in textbooks published by publishers with relatively long tradition are of a higher quality than those by publishers with shorter tradition and therefore less experience with publishing textbooks. Differences in the quality between individual types of visuals or themes are not statistically significant.
Keywords: visual, geography textbook, quantitative content analysis, textbook analysis, geography education
RIV: DOI: 10.33403/rigeo.509255
PNG Made: Transformations of Papua New Guinea Diet / Article in Journal / Journal of Ethnology / Martin Soukup, Jan D. Bláha / 3 / 2019 / 201–212
Abstract: The study focusses on the theoretical and empirical analysis of food as a cultural phenomenon at the global, macro-regional, and local levels. The study is divided into three imaginary sections. In the first one, the authors focus on the first and the second level of the hierarchization, and they describe the regionalization of sustainable foods. In the second section, the authors focus on sustainable foods in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and methods in which they are processed, as well as on the impacts of colonization and globalization on the transformations of traditional diet by that state ́s population. Attention is paid mainly to biscuits, instant noodles, rice, tea, and coffee. The last section focusses on the local level, and it demonstrates, using the example of the Nungon ethnic group, how industrial foods penetrate the villagers ́ diet. The last section is based on fieldwork conducted by the authors there. Special attention is also paid to the rhythm and ways of nourishment, the selection and procession of foods for special occasions, and to the tabooization of several foods. The conclusion of the study focusses on the PNG Made brand, which began to be applied on industrial foods and drinks that are not imported, but produced locally.
Keywords: change of subsistence, colonialism, globalization, staple foods, PNG Made, Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Visual representation of the curriculum in geography textbooks: quantification of visuals in educational medium analysis / Article in Journal / IARTEM E-Journal / Petr Trahorsch, Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2019 / 1–20
Abstract: One of the most important components of the textbook are visuals which might facilitate the learning process. In some cases, however, due to their inconvenient structure misconceptions might arise. The aim of this study is to analyse and evaluate how convenient the structure of visuals represented in the curriculum in Czech geography textbooks is. For this purpose, we have used an expert evaluation of visuals in 16 textbooks by the quantitative content analysis method; visuals were categorised into groups based on four analysis criteria: type of visual, headline, thematic focus and colour; we were also interested in the space assigned to visuals in the textbook. The results of the analysis show that the key feature in geography textbooks are photographs; whose educational value is far less in comparison to other kinds of visuals. The amount of visuals without any heading is rather alarming. In contrast, there is a high proportion of coloured visuals which might have a positive effect on the learning outcome.
Keywords: Visual, Textbook analyses, Visual component of the textbook ;, Visual research, Geography textbook
The research-analytic part of preparation of a cartographic work: a case study of an analysis of historical atlases as the basis for creating the Czech Historical Atlas / Article in Journal / AUC Geographica / Jan D. Bláha, Jitka Močičková / 1 / 2018 / 58–69
Abstract: A new large historical atlas on the Czech and Czechoslovak history of the 20th century is currently being prepared under the project of the Czech Historical Atlas. In this article, the authors introduce the basic research-analytic part of preparation of this cartographic work. It is based on the extensive research and subsequent analysis of the already published and similarly focused Czech (Czechoslovak) and foreign historical atlases, which gave the team sources of inspiration for processing the concept of the new atlas. The choice, the subsequent description and the analysis were achieved by the application of predetermined criteria. The result is a large database of selected historical atlases produced in the whole world after 1950, which contains more than 400 items. In addition to the standard bibliographic description, it contains a series of further characteristics (methods of thematic cartography, applied scale series, etc.) and references to the excerpts. The authors have decided to make the database freely available on a web portal, because they assume that it can be broadly used for research leading to development in the area of atlas cartography.
Keywords: historical atlas; analysis of atlases; conception of atlas; Czech Historical Atlas
Research on visuals in geography textbooks: A review / Article in Journal / Journal of the Czech Pedagogical Society / Petr Trahorsch, Jan D. Bláha, Tomáš Janko / 1 / 2018 / 111–134
Abstract: The article is a review study. Its aim is to define and critically evaluate the methodological approaches of visual research in geography textbooks. Another aim of this study is to summarize the main conclusions of selected studies. There is a clear terminological inconsistency in naming the visual component of textbooks. Altogether 92 studies in Czech and English were analysed without time and territory specifications. Multidisciplinary full-text databases EBSCO, WoS, SCOPUS, ERIC, ProQuest and Geobibline) were searched using a combination of keywords in Czech and English language. The analysis of the research shows that the expert assessments prevail in the research using predominantly quantitative methods, especially quantitative content analysis of visuals; a questionnaire and a didactic test are of major importance in the quantitative user assessment have questionnaire and the didactic test. In addition, unequal distribution of visually-oriented research textbook across age groups was found; a neglected area of research is assessment or analysis of textbooks for the ISCED 1 age group. According to the results of the analysed studies, photographs are the most important visuals in geography textbooks; although the map is one of the typical geographical visual, its share on the total number of visuals in textbooks is relatively low.
Keywords: visuals, geography textbook, homeland study textbook, textbook with geographic content, review study
Concepts And Delimitation Of The Worldʼs Macro-Regions / Article in Journal / Miscellanea Geographica – Regional Studies on Development / Jiří Anděl, Ivan Bičík, Jan D. Bláha / 1 / 2018 / 16–21
Abstract: The authors focus on the current differentiation of the world and on its cognitive, application and educational frameworks and importance for the present. Macro-regional differentiation of the world has resulted from geographic concepts and it is a foundation for understanding the global development of society. This article evaluates the specific concepts and factors that form concepts of world macro-regions prepared by famous authors. It also presents a methodological approach for macro-regional forming of the world. After a theoretical and methodological introduction there is a discussion of the differentiation of the world entitled “Macro-regional differentiation of the world – formation and application.ˮ The authors also present their conception of world differentiation and evaluation of the creation macro-regions and their positive and negative influence of the macro-regional differentiation of the world.
Keywords: regional geography; geography of the world; differentiation of the world; global macro-regions; concepts and factors of regionalization
Visuals in Geography Education: A Review / Article in Journal / Scientia in educatione / Tomáš Janko, Petr Knecht, Silvie R. Kučerová, Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2018 / 1–18
Abstract: The study seeks to explain how evidence-based knowledge about learning from visual material can be utilized by way of improving the visuals used in geography education. The aim of this narrative review is to find out: a) the theoretical foundations of learning from visuals, b) how to operationalize geographical visuals in a way that would facilitate research on school instruction and inform the production of textbooks and atlases, c) to identify (based on the state of the art) some domain specific recommendations contributing to more understandable and pupil-friendly static visualization of geographical phenomena. The methodology is based on the review of literature related to the domains of cognitive psychology, educational science, and geography education. In the concluding part, it is suggested how the findings of our study may contribute to the improvement of visuals in geography education.
Keywords: geography education, didactics of geography, visuals, visualisation
Macro-regional differentiation of the world: Authors’ concept and its application / Article in Journal / Miscellanea Geographica – Regional Studies on Development / Jiří Anděl, Ivan Bičík, Jan D. Bláha / 3 / 2018 / 1–6
Abstract: This article is a continuation of the same authors’ study entitled ‘Concepts And Delimitation Of The World’s Macro-Regions’ prepared for the 1/2018 of this journal (Anděl et al. 2018). The main aim of the first part was an evaluation of the concepts and factors which have been used as a basis for the delimitation of the different macro-regions of the world. In this second part, the authors propose their own macro-regionalisation of the world – this is a combination of four concepts, with relatively different contents: those of De Blij and Muller (1997), Cole (1996), Huntington (1996) and Hampl (2009). This macro-regionalisation arises from sociocultural affiliation, economic interrelationships and territorial continuity. Along with the concept of the macro-regional differentiation of the world itself, we focus on evaluating the importance of the shaping of macro-regions, as well as assessing the positive and negative features of individual concepts and their influence on the macro-regional differentiation of the world.
Keywords: regional geography, geography of the world, differentiation of the world, global macro-regions, concepts and factors of regionalization
Visual spatial representation of social and cultural phenomena and its effect on local education: The case of Papua New Guinea / Article in Journal / Český lid – The Czech Ethnological Journal / Martin Soukup, Jan D. Bláha / 3 / 2018 / 325–340
Abstract: This study uses participatory research in spatial anthropology. The aim of the study is to demonstrate the possibilities in using maps in ethnology and anthropology, and to introduce the potential of the interdisciplinary cooperation of cartographers and geographers with ethnologists and anthropologists. In addition, the authors try to demonstrate the influence of maps and visual information on the life of a local community and local education using examples. In their study, the authors show the results of the field research which they carried out together on the Nungon community in Papua New Guinea. The authors show that sharing the results of the research with the participants may generate other research questions and bring new research topics in spatial anthropology.
Keywords: spatial anthropology, mental maps, visuality, Papua New Guinea
Visuals and their influence on the perception of the world around us / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2018 / 4-7 + příloha
Abstract: Visual information plays a crucial role in our lives. Representation of this information (visuals) is a part of our culture, and the culture, in addition to the biological basis of personality, defines how we behave, how we act, how we learn and how we perceive. Geography is one of the disciplines that we cannot imagine without the presence of visuals (schemes, graphs, photographs or maps). The aim of the article is to show the importance of visuals not only in geography and their influence on the perception of the world around us. It only depends on us how meaningfully we can use the visual information
Keywords: visual information, visuals, culture, visual perception, visual geographical information
The Midpoint of Czechia. But Which One? / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha, Martin Dolejš / 3 / 2017 / s. 16–17 + mapa
Abstract: This article visits the oft-discussed issue of determining a territory’s midpoint, using the example of Czechia. A variety of methods along with a variety of natural and social manifestations can be used to yield differing midpoints. Moreover, a large number of factors need to be accounted for to determine the midpoint of a territory (i.e. the exactness of the method, determining boundaries or the variability of boundaries). The authors present a collection of maps that describe a selection of Czechia’s midpoints and explain the methods behind them.
Keywords: Czechia’s midpoint, determining a territory’s midpoint, core, GIS, population center, network analysis, digital relief model
The Geographic Dimension and Use of Postcrossing in Teaching in Secondary Schools / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Petr Trahorsch, Jan D. Bláha / 4 / 2017 / s. 12–13
Abstract: Postcrossing is a project that combines modern information technology with a traditional postal service. It allows to users to exchange postcards worldwide. In the first section, this article explores the spatial differentiation of this project. The created maps make it possible to interpret primary factors that influence the number of postcrossing users and their activity in the project. The second part of the article focuses on the use of the Postcrossing in secondary schools and working with visual materials (postcards)
Keywords: Postcrossing, geographical education, postcard, visuals
Colonial History of Nungon Community And Its Effect On Spatial Behaviour of Members / Article in Journal / Historical Sociology: A Journal of Historical Social Sciences / Martin Soukup, Jan D. Bláha / 1 / 2017 / s. 55–72
Abstract: Objective of the paper is a study of effects of selected historical events on spatial behaviour of members of Nungon community (Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea). Authors argue that two particular historical events – the religious conflict and the relocation of a village to the new place – are continuously affecting daily life of the community; authors further argue that is possible to see the effect of the events in geographical space. The arguments are based on results of the fieldwork carried out by authors in Papua New Guinea; they had focused on construction of genealogical ties in community and mapping of geographical space of the village. Aim of the paper is to present innovative methodology enabling study of expression of historical events and social relations in geographical space.
Keywords: history, geographical space, genealogy, ethnohistory, Papua New Guinea
We Are What We Eat: National Cuisine as a Element of Culture / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Martin Soukup, Jan D. Bláha / 5 / 2017 / s. 2–4
Abstract: This study presents a cultural-geographical view of national cuisine and defines regions of the world in terms of the basic foods they eat, taking into account basic subsistence strategies: hunting and gathering or pastoral farming and cultivation. It pays particular attention to the development of European eating patterns from Ancient Rome to the present time, emphasizing the formation of the concept of so-called national foods. Whereas European national cuisines depended, historically, on the availability of foods and local customs, they are now much more subject to globalization.
Keywords: national cuisine, food culture, subsistence strategies, national food
Household labelling for flash flood emergency management (Chrastava town, Northern Czechia) / Article in Journal / Journal of Maps / Monika Stehlíková, Pavel Raška, Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2017 / s. 747–754
Abstract: Flash floods are natural hazards that may last only a few hours, but their sudden onset often results in severe impacts on society and the environment. Therefore, efforts to reduce flash flood-related losses have primarily focused on the compilation of emergency operation plans (EOPs). Conversely, there have been only a few attempts to provide cartographic representations of EOPs in order to show the spatial context of crisis operations. In the present map and its commentary, we describe a pilot study of flash flood household labelling for use in emergency operations carried out in Chrastava town, Northern Czechia. Analyses of existing geographical databases, together with detailed field surveys, have been performed to map relevant characteristics of 1110 buildings in terms of their location, function, number of residents and degree of flood hazard, as well as the presence of floodprotection measures. The map sheet is composed of the main map (overview of flood extent and impacts) and three supplementary maps (technical and social vulnerability of buildings), and the map key is designed to facilitate strategic planning and directing of emergency operations in the study area.
Keywords: Flood, labelling, household, emergency management, Czechia
The Southern Ocean in Students’ Mental Maps / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Prague, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha, Petr Meyer / 3 / 2016 / s. 14–16
Abstract: At times, changes happen to the organization of states or other territorial entities. Such changes should be reflected within geography instruction. This article presents an interesting method for assessing student knowledge in areas of regional geography with the help of mental maps and GIS. This assessment can be done both before and after teaching certain content, allowing for meaningful comparison. The authors conducted the assessment at several primary and secondary schools in Czechia and used the described methods to define the, as yet, little-known Southern Ocean.
Keywords: mental maps, Southern Ocean, teaching evaluation, regional geography, GIS
Students’ Mental Maps: Local Identity and Valuing Local Regions / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha, Jan Jaroš / 1 / 2016 / s. 8-9; s. 1-4
Abstract: The use of mental maps in geographical instruction has been presented a number of times on the pages of Geografické rozhledy. This article presents mental maps as a universal tool for teaching about local regions, evaluating an area and indicating the regional identity of students. Advantages of mental maps, beyond their relatively simple application, include the development of a broad range of geographical skills and the integration of a wide variety of instructional methods. The authors provide a number of suggestions for instructional application.
Keywords: local identity, student preferences, areal evaluation, mental maps, local regions, GIS
Cultural Symbols on Papua New Guinea’s Banknotes as Proof of Cultural Changes / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha, Martin Soukup / 2 / 2016 / s. 24–25; s. 1–3
Abstract: Similar to postage stamps, banknotes can be a valuable source of information about the world’s countries and their symbols. In addition to the great variety of cultural symbols of the various cultures of Papua New Guinea, the country’s banknotes also demonstrate a far-reaching cultural change, which is a result of its colonial past and present processes of globalization. This article makes a spatial analysis of cultural artefacts based on Papua New Guinea’s provinces to describe this change.
Keywords: banknotes, cultural artefact, cultural diversity, cultural change, Papua New Guinea
How Central Europe is Perceived and Delimited / Article in Journal / Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Geographischen Gesellschaft / Jan D. Bláha, Aleš Nováček / 158 / 2016 / s. 193–214
Abstract: The paper deals with the issue of perception and delimitation of Central Europe (CE). The first part discusses basic concepts and conceptions of CE, which are crucial in this respect. Attention is then paid to differences in the perception of CE by individual nations and their reasons. The following empirical part of the study compares theoretical knowledge with conclusions from the research. This research was carried out through a questionnaire survey collecting mental maps of selected individuals. The respondents were senior high school students and first year university students from eight CE countries. Their task was to mark the boundaries of CE based on their subjective perception on a map of Europe. A total of 490 mental maps were received, analysed and aggregated to GIS map outputs. The final part compares and interprets the results and reflects on how and why the results differ in individual countries and to which extent they match hypothetical assumptions of ‘national’ perceptions of CE.
Keywords: Central Europe, spatial perception, mental maps, spatial concepts, GIS analysis
Transformations of spatial relationships within elementary education provision: A case study of changes in two Czech rural areas since the second half of the 20th century / Article in Journal / Moravian Geographical Reports / Silvie R. Kučerová, Jan D. Bláha, Zdeněk Kučera / 1 / 2015 / s. 34–44
Abstract: Transformations in the spatial organization of elementary education in Czechia over the last 50 years are examined in this article, via case studies of two rural regions (Turnov district and Zábřeh district). The aim of the study is to investigate the impact of general development trends in elementary schools in territorial detail. Changes in the spatial distribution of schools, the size of school catchment areas, and the main education-related commuter flows are analyzed and visualized in cartographic form, in the context of educational policy and management.
Keywords: elementary education; educational policy; school patterns; catchment areas; rural areas; Turnov district; Zábřeh district; Czechia
Possibilities of Measuring of Elementary School Service on the Examples of Přerov District / Article in Journal / Information of Czech Geographic Society / Silvie R Kučerová, Jan D. Bláha, Lenka Podmolíková / 1 / 2015 / s. 1–15
Abstract: The aim of the article is to present and evaluate several methodological techniques available to measure and cartographically depict the elementary school service in a region. The Přerov district in Moravia was selected as a study area. In the district, a relatively dense network of elementary schools is available, which is composed of either comprehensive nine-year schools, or particularly, small rural schools with only several grades. In the article the schools’ incidence and capacity are analyzed with regard to their future potential development. Several hierarchical levels of school centers are discussed and identified.
Keywords: school provision, elementary schools pattern, catchment area, Přerov district, Czechia
The Winter Olympic Games and their Geographic Dimension / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jiří Anděl, Jan D. Bláha / 4 / 2015 / s. 30–32
Abstract: This article explores current and historical development of the Winter Olympic Games and seeks to shed light on various geographical aspects of the games. A number of graphs and maps complement the text. They document various countries’ success and suggest relationships between geographical features of the various states and their citizens and winter Olympic success.
Keywords: Winter Olympic Games, geographic dimension, assessment of world countries
Small Rural Schools in the Primary Education Market: The Example of Turnov Region / Article in Journal / Czech Sociological Review / Silvie R. Kučerová, Jan D. Bláha, Zuzana Pavlasová / 4 / 2015 / 607–636
Abstract: The article deals with selected issues relating to the provision and accessibility of primary education in rural, non-exposed areas. These issues are examined from the viewpoint that various conditions force even public education to be guided by certain principles of the free market (e.g. competing for clients), although its actions in this respect are simultaneously rather constrained. The article sets out to analyse the primary education market in a model region Turnov (situated in Czechia) in relation to the type of catchment area. It discusses the pitfalls of public school marketisation, and it analyses the spatial distribution of schools in the model region and the schools’ jurisdictions based on the different types of catchment areas, which are defined and created in the form of cartographic visualisation. The article also examines four municipalities with small rural school as case studies selected on the basis of representing different types of catchment area. The authors discuss the findings of in-depth interviews that were conducted with headmasters, school operators, and some parents in the four municipalities in order to identify the strategies that schools can use to strengthen their position in the primary education market. The authors find that not only do schools’ marketing strategies vary little depending on their geographical location but the majority of schools in the case study have not formulated a unique and systematic vision and mission for their school. The principal features of all the schools studied are their self-identification in opposition to the culture of urban schools.
Keywords: primary schools, rural space, marketisation, catchment area, Czechia, Turnov region
Cartographic Productions for Schools – Part 1 / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Prague, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha, Jan Kopp, Jan Ptáček, Eva Semotanová / 1 / 2015 / s. 20–21
Abstract: This article informs readers about the current status of ongoing discussions concerning cartographic productions for schools in Czechia. These discussions focus primarily on the creation of school atlases, wall maps and modern cartographic aids for classroom instruction. A number of experts have shared their point-of-view on the topic along with teachers of geography from elementary and grammar schools. The first section of the article examines the point-of-view of experts concerning cartographic products for schools, while the second section focuses on teacher perspectives.
Keywords: cartographic products for schools, discussion, Czechia
Cartographic Production for Schools – Part 2 / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha, Jan Ptáček / 2 / 2015 / s. 20–21
Abstract: This article informs readers about the current status of ongoing discussions concerning cartographic productions for schools in Czechia. These discussions focus primarily on school atlases, wall maps and modern cartographic aids for classroom instruction. A number of experts have shared their point-of-view on the topic along with teachers of geography from elementary and secondary schools. The first section of the article examines the point-of-view of experts concerning cartographic products for schools, while the second section focuses on teacher perspectives.
Keywords: cartographic products for schools, discussion, Czechia
18th Geography Olympiad with new Rules / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Silvie R. Kučerová, Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2015 / s. 19
Abstract: This article describes major changes in the organization and rules of the Geography Olympiad in its recently announced 18th year: 2015-2016. The “Materials” section of the Geografické rozhledy website contains proposed topics and suggestions for the school-level rounds of the contest.
Keywords: Geography Olympiad, international geographical contest, organization and rules, advancement key
The Olympic Games: Geopolitical Issues / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jiří Anděl, Jan D. Bláha / 3 / 2014 / s. 28-30
Abstract: Generally, the Olympic Games are viewed as a symbol, encouraging world peace and promoting global cooperation among nations. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games tradition actively encouraged such views. It seems, however, that the Games geopolitical role is just as significant and in many cases even supersedes lofty aspirations of world peace.
Keywords: Summer Olympic Games, geopolitics, global differences, assessment of world countries
Selected Atlas Cartographic Production in Germany and Its Usefulness in Education / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha / 3 / 2014 / s. 10-11
Abstract: The article presents an overview of select cartographic products from Germany, assessing their quality in comparison with Czech equivalents. In addition, the author reflects on the availability and usability of cartographic works in education.
Keywords: cartographic production, online products, Germany, school atlases
Creation of Sketches and Hand-drawn Maps in Geography Teaching / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha, Jan Hátle / 4 / 2014 / s. 15-17
Abstract: This article provides methodological support for the creation of simple graphical assignments: route sketches, panoramic sketches and hand-drawn maps, during field geography instruction. The article includes examples of the above-listed types of graphical assignments.
Keywords: field geography instruction, route sketch, panoramic sketch, hand-drawn maps
Colour Contrast in Cartographic Works Using the Principles of Johannes Itten / Article in Journal / The cartographic Journal / Jan D. Bláha, Zbyněk Štěrba / 3 / 2014 / pp. 203–213
Abstract: Colour is considered a key means of expression for use in cartographic works. This is because colours and the relations among them influence not only the aesthetic impression a map creates but also its overall utility. In addition to Newton’s spectral colour theory, today theories with origins in artistic technique are gaining ground in cartography. This article introduces J. Itten’s colour theory (first published in 1961 in The Art of Colour [Kunst der Farbe]) with special attention given to his concept of seven colour contrasts. The article also discusses the suitability and unsuitability of their application in practical cartography, and it contributes original examples employing thematic maps, a discipline with broad possibilities for the application of these inventive methods by today’s mapmakers.
Keywords: colour in cartography, colour contrast, colour theory, Johannes Itten, thematic maps
Genesis of cultural diversity and cultural unification of map styles / Article in Journal / Culturologia, The Journal of Culture / Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2014 / s. 57–60
Abstract: Aim of the study is the map as one of the visual models of (not merely) reality, that speaks its language and content. If the map is seen as an image, it is not only the result of a more or less objective recording of area, but also the expression of the individual, respectively culture, from which the relevant individual comes from. The study is based on research, within which mental maps of individuals of selected cultures (Czechia, Western Europe, New Guinea) were studied. This research has shown, inter alia, a gradual cultural unification of map styles and in its findings is also apparent conflict between cultural originality and international cartographic conventions, although this fact lost none, as it seems, utility value of maps.
Keywords: cultural diversity, cultural unification, map style, mental map, cross-cultural research
Kula: A Socio-Cultural Phenomenon of Melanesia / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Martin Soukup, Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2014 / s. 26-27
Abstract: This article informs readers about a ceremonial exchange system in Melanesia known as kula. Kula can be viewed in a number of ways: as a system of social communication, a competition for prestige or a system for re-circulating material goods. The article focuses on two differing interpretations of kula, from Bronislaw Malinowski and Reo Fortune.
Keywords: Melanesia, cultural geography, kula, Bronislaw Malinowski, Reo Fortune
The influence of the use of Křovák projection in GIS on Czech user / Article in Journal / ArcRevue / Jan D. Bláha / 4 / 2014 / s. 10–12
Abstract: Na počátku 20. let minulého století ing. Josef Křovák vytvořil jako předseda triangulační kanceláře zobrazení, které mělo při převodu obrazu zemského povrchu tehdejšího Československa do roviny co nejméně zkreslovat úhly a vzdálenosti. Od roku 1933 bylo toto zobrazení používáno jako definitivní a stalo se základem pro souřadnicový systém S-JTSK používaný ve státním resortu. Ačkoliv se území našeho státu od té doby mnohokrát změnilo, Křovákovo zobrazení je dodnes stálicí v rámci zobrazování území České republiky. Vzhledem k tomu, že je základní digitální vektorová geografická databáze České republiky (ArcČR) realizována právě v Křovákově zobrazení, naučili se čeští uživatelé GIS toto zobrazení používat prakticky pro všechny své mapové produkty. Bohužel skoro nikdo neřešil vhodnost či nevhodnost tohoto zobrazení pro mapy menších měřítek, které se používají například v geografii. Autor příspěvku poukazuje na to, jak může používání Křovákova zobrazení v mapách menších měřítek díky tomu, že není orientované na sever, negativně ovlivnit mentální mapu českých uživatelů mapových produktů. Dokládá to i výsledky šetření mezi uživateli. Zároveň upozorňuje na neopodstatněnost používání tohoto zobrazení v mapách malých měřítek, kde je požadavek na délkové zkreslení v řádu maximálně desítek centimetrů irelevantní. Konečně navrhuje možnosti řešení za použití osvědčených kartografických zobrazení nabízených v produktu ArcGIS.
Keywords: Křovák projection, GIS, pupils, cognitive map
Understanding Maps? Conception of Cartography of Scottish Cartographer J. S. Keates And Its Usability In Cartographic Creation / Article in Journal / / Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2014 / s. 72–80
Abstract: The article tries to answer the question of whether the current trend to label a map primarily as a carrier of (spatial) information does not reduce the map itself and its functions. It is based on the concept of cartography, relatively less known in the Czech and Slovak environment, of a Scottish cartographer John Stanley Keates (1925–1999). He introduced his concept of cartography, particularly in his pivotal publication, Understanding Maps. In principle, Keates does not contradict the theory of information, but at the same time however, he states that this theory to describe a map and its functions is just not enough. In his opinion, a map, as an artefact of human activity, can be seen now in several modes. As visual information, a symbolic representation, means of communication, artistic work and a product of human skill. Most of these modes use similar constructs, on one side, is the cartographer, or the creator of the map, the map is a specific mediator and the map user is on the other side. These modes, however, differ in their basic philosophy. There is alternation of visuality, semiotics, linguistics, aesthetics and technology. J. S. Keates when trying to summarize his lifelong research of cartographic production came to the conclusion that he had never paid attention primarily to communication, but above all to the representation of objects and phenomena. He believed that the product must be not only informationally effective but also aesthetically attractive.
Keywords: conception of cartography, John Stanley Keates, cartographic information, theory of cartographic communication, art and cartography, culture, society
Map Creation in the Age of GIS: Means of Map Representation / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha / 3 / 2013 / s. 10–11
Abstract: This article describes the advantages and disadvantages of creating maps with traditional GIS software, considering the means of map representation. Readers are provided with instructions on how to choose the correct means of map representation like correct method of thematic cartography to express quantity × quality and to express absolute × relative values of the phenomenon.
Keywords: GIS, map creation, means of map representation, choropleth, diagram map, cartographic semiology
Representation of time and the creation of a temporal legend in animated cartographic works / Article in Journal / Geografie (ISSN 1212-0014) / Lukáš Vít, Jan D. Bláha / 1 / 2013 / s. 40–58
Abstract: The article provides an extensive analysis of the possibilities for the graphic presentation of time in animated cartographic works. After a brief introduction presenting the problem of time and action within the framework of cartographic production, the article mentions methods commonly used for the expression of time in cartographic animations and indicates their weakness: as a rule, these methods don’t reflect the temporo-spatial progression of events that a cartographic work strives to capture. The article then proposes a general approach recommended for the design and creation of temporal legends for animated maps in order to eliminate this flaw. This general approach is then applied to a sample group of cartographic works that depict historical battles.
Keywords: time, cartography, temporal legend, animated map, battle
Assessment of mental maps in GIS / Article in Journal / Informace ČGS (ISSN 1213-1075) / Martina Kynčlová-Tihonová, Jan D. Bláha / 1 / 2013 / s. 1–15
Abstract: This article presents the possibilities of assessments of mental maps using geographic information system tools (GIS). At first, it is necessary to define which mental maps and under what conditions they can be assessed in GIS. Also presented are several different methods of assessing shape and positioning accuracy of mental maps, which are based on GIS methods. The methods have been created with emphasis on the highest possible versatility and automation of the assessment process. For each proposed method, its advantages, disadvantages and potential applications are discussed. In the conclusion, the appropriateness of general use of GIS in this field is under discussion.
Keywords: mental map (sketch map), GIS, assessment of accuracy
Map Creation in the Age of GIS: Map Key / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha / 4 / 2013 / s. 12–13
Abstract: This article describes the advantages and disadvantages of creating maps with traditional GIS software, considering the map key. Readers are provided with instructions on how to create map key in GIS software with the possibility of applications in another maps. This article also describes the difference between map key a map legend.
Keywords: GIS, map creation, map key, map legend
Mental map of Czechia rendered by Czech elementary and secondary school students / Article in Journal / Geografie (ISSN 1212-0014) / Jan D. Bláha, Tereza Pastuchová Nováková / 1 / 2013 / s. 59–76
Abstract: This article presents a study which observes the notions of Czech elementary and secondary school students’ about the spatial layout and geography of Czechia. Findings of the study’s three basic phases are presented in the article: a contents analysis of the students’ individual mental maps; an analysis of the accuracy with which the students depicted Prague, the capital city, within these maps; and an analysis of the maps expressing where students would prefer to live. A special characteristic of this study is its focus on the cartographic representation of the results. The first phase of the study makes use of aggregated mental maps; the second uses GIS to measure aberrations in the locating of Prague on individual mental maps from Prague’s “correct” location; and the third again uses aggregated mental maps and employs a map key to represent student preferences for specific locations.
Keywords: mental map, geography education, cartographic representation, living preferences, Czechia
Map Creation in the Age of GIS: Map Lettering / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha / 5 / 2013 / s. 12–13
Abstract: This article describes the advantages and disadvantages of creating maps with traditional GIS software, in this case, with a focus on map lettering. Readers are provided with instructions on how to modify the placement of map lettering and how to rotate it along geographic axes (graticule). The article also describes basic rules for the placement of map lettering.
Keywords: GIS, map creation, map lettering
Map of Catholic Sanctuary / Article in Journal / / Jan D. Bláha, Zdeněk Kučera, Silvie R. Kučerová / 2 / 2013 / s. 8–10
Keywords: sanctuary, Catholic church, map creation, GIS
Natural and Social Risks as the Central Theme of the 2014 Geographical Olympiad / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / S. R. Kučerová, M. Šobr, H. Svobodová, J. D. Bláha / 2 / 2013 / s. 19
Abstract: This articles presents the theme of the 2014 Geographical Olympiad: “Natural and social risks”. It details certain categories and selected examples of risks and risk processes. These are further illustrated through a website with examples of possible competition tasks.
Keywords: geographical olympiad, natural risks, social risks
Users´ Mental Maps As a Tool For Assessing Hiking Maps / Article in Journal / Geodetický a kartografický obzor (Praha, ISSN 0016-7096) / Kateřina Novotná, Jan D. Bláha / 4 / 2012 / s. 87–92+přílohy
Abstract: This paper presents a method for assessing cartographic products by means of users’ mental maps, as well as the results of a study that applied this method. The method was tested on maps developed by leading Czech producers of tourist maps. The basis for this assessment were mental maps of two regions in Czechia – Český ráj and the Krkonoše Mountains – created by subjects in response to a questionnaire (161 respondents created 483 mental maps). The resulting material was then used to produce “aggregated mental maps” corresponding to specific hiking maps and regions. On the basis of the aggregated mental maps and aided by a multi-criteria assessment, results for respective maps were measured and presented together with concrete recommendations regarding specific elements of the maps’ contents.
Keywords: assessment of cartographic works, hiking maps, mental maps
19th Conference of Czech and Slovak Cartographers - Bratislava 2011 / Article in Journal / Information of Czech Geographic Society / Jan D. Bláha / 1 / 2012 / s. 52–53
Abstract: Ve dnech 8.–9.9. 2011 se v Bratislavě uskutečnila již 19. kartografická konference pořádaná jednou za dva roky Kartografickou společností ČR a Kartografickou spoelčností SR střídavě v Česku a na Slovensku. Zpráva popisuje tuto akci a vybírá z příspěvků především ty zajímavé.
Keywords: conference, cartography, report from the action
20th Conference GIS ESRI in the Czech Republic - Prague 2011 / Article in Journal / Information of Czech Geographic Society / Jan D. Bláha / 1 / 2012 / s. 53–54
Abstract: V Kongresové centru v Praze proběhla ve dnech 9.–10. 11. 2011 za účasti 850 registrovaných účastníků již po dvacáté konference uživatelů produktů firmy ESRI. Zpráva podává informaci z akce a vybírá především zajímavé příspěvky z konference.
Keywords: conference, GIS, report from the action
Map creation in the age of GIS: mathematical foundations of the map / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha / 1 / 2012 / s. 12–13+obálka
Abstract: The article describes the advantages and disadvantages of creating maps in GIS on the example of mathematical foundations of the map. Readers are provided with instructions, how to setup in GIS map projection for territory of Czechia.
Keywords: GIS, mathematical foundations of maps, map creation, map projection
A Study of the User Friendliness of Temporal Legends in Animated Maps / Article in Journal / AUC Geographica / Lukáš Vít, Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2012 / s. 53–61
Abstract: Among other topics related to the visual aspect of cartographic products, current research addresses the problem of user friendliness. The most significant research concerns those products that evolve most rapidly, a typical example being interactive dynamic maps. This group of cartographic works includes products that are relatively challenging for users with respect to their temporally fluid content and the possibility of interactive manipulation. The article begins with a basic discussion of user-friendliness in cartographic products; in this context it addresses the historical development of the notion of cartography as a science, as well as the evolution of the ways in which it has been defined and of its subjects of interest. It demonstrates that, aside from notions of cartography as a technical discipline, it is also of interest from a linguistic point of view for its role as a means of communication between cartographer and map user. Still greater emphasis is placed on the design aspects of cartographic production. Next the article describes a study on the user-friendliness of temporal legends, which are very common in animated maps. The goal of this study, which was conducted during the summer of 2010, was not only to evaluate the given temporal legends, but also to investigate the extent to which users were able to work with temporal variables (with time) in a cartographic product. Among the tools for collecting data was a form of online test. This test posed questions to respondents and automatically measured the amount of time it took them to find their answers. This method was based on the assumption that, given two cartographic works containing similar content, the work which enables the user to find information more quickly is the more user-friendly of the two. The results of the test were then analyzed on the basis of an objective standard for comparing qualities in a cartography work. The authors conclude by suggesting future directions for research on the subject.
Keywords: cartography, study of user friendliness, temporal legend, time, cartographic animation
Cartographic letters in the village Yawan in Papua-New Guinea / Article in Journal / Cartographic letters / Jan D. Bláha / 1 / 2012 / 71
Keywords: Cartographic letters, Papua-New Guinea, report
Map Creation in the Age of GIS: The Compositional Elements of a Map / Article in Journal / Geografické rozhledy (Praha, ISSN 1210-3004) / Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2012 / s. 14–16
Abstract: This article describes the advantages and disadvantages of creating maps with traditional GIS software, considering the compositional elements of a map. Readers are provided with instructions on how to appropriately compose maps using GIS, including insight on displaying geographic networks.
Keywords: GIS, compositional elements of a map
25th International Cartographic Conference ICA in Paris / Article in Journal / Information of Czech Geographic Society / Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2011 / 50–53
Mental maps by the inhabitants of the village Yawan from an interdisciplinary perspective / Article in Journal / Kartografické listy / Jan D. Bláha, Martin Soukup, Michaela Balcerová / 19 / 2011 / s. 5-19
Abstract: This study concerns an interdisciplinary analysis and interpretation of those mental maps created by pupils of an elementary school in the village of Yawan. This village is found in the province of Morobe in Papua New Guinea. The introduction provides an explanation of the context for the creation of these maps, i.e. a broader anthropological investigation in the village during the summer of 2009. As this study has an interdisciplinary character, the authors attempt to perform a comprehensive analysis of the maps. The cartographical focus of the study concerns map language, style, content, and other approaches to map composition, including in some cases its accuracy in terms of comparison with a photograph of the corresponding village. From an anthropological point of view, the goal is to contextualize mental maps within the ethnographic community of Yawan. Finally, the psychological analysis and interpretation of these mental maps focuses on them primarily as creative artefacts with regard to the use of drawing materials, colours and shapes in the drawing of maps.
Keywords: mental maps, anthropology, psychology, culture, Papua-New Guinea, Melanesia
Assessment of Cartographic Works Using Mental Maps / Article in Journal / Kartografické listy / Jan D. Bláha, Tomáš Hudeček / 18 / 2010 / s. 21–28
Abstract: The issue of mental maps on one hand, and assessment of cartographic works on the other are relatively well-known and have been discussed by a relatively high number of authors. However, is it possible to interconnect the knowledge and use it meaningfully? The paper tries to find answers to this question. Its primary objective is to reveal the users’ wishes and ideas about the content of maps. A proposal for the procedure of assessment of cartographic works in terms of aesthetics and user-friendliness is introduced, making use of mental maps by users. The question to what extent mental maps can be utilized as decisive for the finalisation of results is still left unanswered. Nevertheless, the paper presents one of input propositions of a research project carried out at the Charles University in Prague.
Keywords: mental maps, assessment of cartographic works, user-friendliness
Assessment of cartographic outputs: analysis of mental maps of orienteering runners / Article in Journal / Geografie - Sborník ČGS (ISSN 1212-0014) / Martina Kynčlová, Tomáš Hudeček, Jan D. Bláha / 2 / 2009 / s. 105-116
Abstract: The article deals with analysis of mental maps which were obtained by questioning athletes – orienteering runners. Using the prerequisite of measurability of their sports performance, it is possible to measure the accuracy of assessment methods of mental maps. Thirty mental maps were acquired via a two-section questionnaire; they were assessed with the help of two methods – frequency measurement and determined weights and criteria. The results of the first method were visualised using software into aggregated maps which enable an overall view. The second method provides individual point of view on each athlete and their performance abilities. Comparison of both methods proves the initial hypothesis.
Keywords: mental maps, cartographic assessment, orienteering, aggregated maps
Test and Verbal Evaluation of Tourist Maps from the Esthetical and Users Helpfulness Point of View / Article in Journal / Geodetický a kartografický obzor (Praha, ISSN 0016-7096) / Jan D. Bláha, Lucie Hrstková / 5 / 2008 / s. 92-97
Abstract: Application and results of the methodology of cartographic works test evaluation from the esthetical and users helpfulness point of view. Methodology was tested on current Czech tourist and cycling maps. Except for test evaluation field examination was used among users; the marketability of single map series was also taken into account.
Keywords: assessment of cartographic works, user-friendliness, aesthetics in cartography, evaluation criteria, tourist maps
Possibilities of creative expression in present-day cartography / Article in Journal / Kartografické listy (Bratislava, ISSN 1336-5274) / Jan D. Bláha / 15 / 2007 / s. 13-24
Abstract: In those times when cartography did not make use of automated reproduction techniques cartographic products were considered works of art. Each cartographic work was original and their authors were rightfully referred to as ‘artists’. Due to letterpress and other automated techniques (which lead to the transition from traditional to computer-aided cartography) cartographic production abandoned the artistic dimension and has become a special-purpose activity. Moreover, cartographers were less and less independent as they had to conform to established norms. The status of these norms is much more long-term than that of norms followed e.g. in the area of fine art. Therefore, present-day aesthetics rightfully classifies cartographic production as the so called the non-artistic aesthetic. Creativity of authors themselves may seem to be closely connected with these facts. Our purpose is to disprove this hypothesis and point out various possibilities of creative expression in present-day cartography. There is no doubt that the ability to look for and discover such possibilities, is of high importance. Some of the possibilities can be found in applying artistic styles to cartographic styles, e.g. abstraction, fiction, imagination, etc.
Keywords: creativity, creative expression, cartographer, cartographic production, individual style of an author, aesthetics
Paradox inovace v kartografii z pohledu estetiky / Article in Journal / Kartografické listy (Bratislava, ISSN 1336-5274) / Jan D. Bláha / 14 / 2006 / s. 5-15
Abstract: Tak jako v mnoha jiných činnostech člověka, tak i v kartografii tvůrce často hledá možnosti, jimiž by dílo inovoval, případně hledá možnosti, jak uvést na trh dílo zcela nové. Paradoxem je, že uživatel na jedné straně touží po něčem novém, ovšem na druhé straně by dostal rád něco, co už zná a na co je zvyklý. Někdo upřednostňuje spíše tradici, jiný spíše inovaci. Nezřídka se také tvůrci stává, že při hledání něčeho nového dochází ať už vědomě či nevědomě k tradičnímu a osvědčenému. Vedle toho se nabízí i některé další otázky: Kde jsou hranice mezi novým a tradičním? Jaký je rozdíl mezi aktualizací a inovací kartografického díla? Jak se inovace projevuje a jaké dává možnosti? Jakou roli hraje v dnešní době autorský styl? To všechno jsou otázky, na něž se příspěvek pokouší najít odpověď. Příspěvek přitom vychází z poznatků estetiky, teorie umění, čímž umožňuje do jisté míry porovnat rozdíl mezi inovací v umění a v kartografii. Pokouší se i o stručný výklad pojmů souvisejících s touto problematikou: princip ozvláštnění, záměrnost vs. nezáměrnost, opakování a serialita, faktor rytmu, klišé, kýč nebo originalita vs. stereotyp.
Keywords: inovace a tradice, ozvláštnění, klišé,aktualizace mapového obsahu,srovnání umělecké a kartografické tvorby, autorský a vydavatelský styl
Návrh postupu hodnocení kartografických děl z hlediska estetiky a uživatelské vstřícnosti / Article in Journal / Geodetický a kartografický obzor (Praha, ISSN 0016-7096) / Jan D. Bláha / 5 / 2006 / s. 92-97
Abstract: Od té doby, co jsou prováděna hodnocení kartografických děl, naráží jejich autoři na problém, jak objektivizovat a konkretizovat tu jeho část, která se zabývá otázkou estetiky. Je nasnadě, že tento druh hodnocení je natolik specifickým fenoménem, že si zaslouží svůj vlastní postup. Příspěvek naznačuje možnosti, které takové hodnocení má, a navrhuje jeden z jeho možných postupů.
Keywords: hodnocení kartografických děl, uživatelská vstřícnost, estetika, kritéria hodnocení
Hodnocení kartografických děl z hlediska estetiky a uživatelské vstřícnosti / Article in Journal / Kartografické listy (Bratislava, ISSN 1336-5274) / Jan D. Bláha / 13 / 2005 / s. 14-24
Abstract: V současné době se stále méně daří překonávat jednostrannost plynoucí z účelové orientace a specializace člověka. Tvůrci opakovaně přehlíží hodnoty, které mohou patřit mezi důležité potřeby uživatele. Ne jinak je tomu v kartografii. Kartografické produkty často ztrácejí přiměřenost uživatelským, tedy lidským potřebám, a celkový lidský rozměr. Tuto tzv. uživatelskou vstřícnost kartografických produktů do značné míry ovlivňuje i estetika, která se přes svou doprovodnou funkci v díle podílí na motivaci lidského jednání. Estetika je nezřídka redukována na vkus člověka, na hodnocení jevů z hlediska jejich krásy či ošklivosti, na to, zda vyvolávají v člověku libost, nebo nelibost. Není důvodem toho, že je estetika vnímána jako vágní subjektivní disciplína, spíše neznalost problematiky estetiky a jejích metod? Cílem příspěvku je upozornit na roli estetické funkce produktu jak ve vztahu k uživateli, tak ve vztahu k tvůrci, tedy kartografovi. Hledá propojení estetiky a kartografie jako dvou vědních disciplín, rozebírá estetické hodnocení jako samostatný proces, pokouší se o vysvětlení rozdílu mezi uživatelskou vstřícností a estetickým ideálem, naznačuje cestu hodnocení v praxi při aplikaci poznatků z estetiky. Autor chce také upozornit na mnohostranné a bohaté možnosti vztahu člověka ke světu a otevřít debatu o výchově tzv. kartografického vkusu.
Keywords: hodnocení kartografických děl, estetika, funkce kartografického díla, omyly kartografie, uživatelská vstřícnost, vztah díla k uživateli, kartografická výchova