This atlas combines some forty maps on the statistical dimension of communications and transport in Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. Not the infrastructures themselves are the object of our inquiry, but rather the economic potential they represented once they had been built, as well as the economic performance they then achieved in the different countries of Europe since 1820. At the core of the mapping, therefore, lies a statistical comparison by country. Aside of the maps, all data underlying their construction have been given in tabular format as PDF-documents. In addition, short texts have been includeded to introduce the series (by info-button) as well as the maps (by PDF-document) and to add some background to both.
This project grew out of a cooperation between Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, and the Institute of European History Mainz, Germany. Mainz was responsible for the cartography, based on its mapserver IEG-Maps as well as on ongoing GIS mapping efforts conducted there in conjunction with the preparation of an Atlas on European History since 1500. Mainz was also responsible for compiling the data on the waterways and on maritime traffic. Eindhoven provided the data for the remaining series, which in large proportions was derived from a data pool on transnational infrastructures of Europe developed as part of the project "Transnational infrastructures and the rise of contemporary Europe", funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) from 2003 to 2009. The database was subsequently further developed as part of the project "Exploring the international dimensions of infrastructures: A historical perspective", under sponsorship of the Next Generation Infrastructures Foundation from 2007 to 2011.
The bilateral cooperation was broadened further by the placement of this project within the context of an International Research Group on “Inventing Europe: Technology and the Making of Europe 1850 to the present”, sponsored by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) from 2007 to 2010.
We would like to take the opportunity to give credit and thanks to all people involved in this project, particularly Robert Moeschl (Berlin) for the digital cartography, Carolin Heymann (Mainz) for the GIS mapping, Frank Schipper (Eindhoven) for the help with the corrections of the telegraphy statistics, Johan Schot (Eindhoven) for starting the TIE-Database and providing access to it, and to Monika Krompiec (Mainz) for recompiling the statistics for mapping purposes. Frank Linhard (Frankfurt) designed the website, for which we are grateful. We hope that the AtlasInfra.eu will find many viewers in the weeks and months to come!
Mainz/Eindhoven, June 2010