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The Geography of the International System: The CShapes Dataset

Weidmann, Nils B and Kuse, Doreen and Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede (2010) 'The Geography of the International System: The CShapes Dataset.' International Interactions, 36 (1). pp. 86-106. ISSN 0305-0629

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We describe CShapes, a new dataset that provides historical maps of state boundaries and capitals in the post-World War II period. The dataset is coded according to both the Correlates of War and the Gleditsch and Ward (1999) state lists, and is therefore compatible with a great number of existing databases in the discipline. Provided in a geographic data format, CShapes can be used directly with standard GIS software, allowing a wide range of spatial computations. In addition, we supply a CShapes package for the R statistical toolkit. This package enables researchers without GIS skills to perform various useful operations on the GIS maps. The paper introduces the CShapes dataset and structure and gives three examples of how to use CShapes in political science research. First, we show how results from quantitative analysis can be depicted intuitively as a map. The second application gives an example of computing indicators on the CShapes maps, which can then be used in statistical tests. Third, we illustrate the use of CShapes for generating different weights matrices in spatial statistical applications. All the examples can be replicated using the freely available R package and do not require specialized GIS skills. The dataset is available for download from the CShapes website ( © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: distance metrics; GIS; historical boundaries; maps; spatial weights
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2013 15:57
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:27

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