This blog is a record of my ongoing work on mapping society and analysing the relationship between spatial configuration and social and economic patterns. It is also the outcome of many years’ research into the topic done with colleagues at UCL and elsewhere.
The starting point of this blog – to which I will certainly return – is Charles Booth’s famous maps of poverty. Along with Snow’s cholera map, Florence Nightingale’s “coxcombs” of Crimean War deaths as well as the less well-known map of Jewish East London published in 1900, Charles Booth’s maps represent an early use of maps to influence social policy. Booth’s maps were created in the context of his widely-read sociological reports and in response to a recognized social ill: the problem of poverty, which racked bourgeois Victorian minds and consciences throughout the nineteenth century.
The author is Professor of Urban Form and Society at the Bartlett, University College London.