views updated

HÄGERSTRAND, (Stig) Torsten (Erik) 1916-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE—

See index for CA sketch: Born October 11, 1916, in Moheda, Sweden; died May 3, 2004, in Lund, Sweden. Geographer, educator, and author. Hägerstrand was an innovative geographer who created knew ways of tracking and predicting not only population movements but also the spread of technological innovations through populations. After serving in the military for a year, he enrolled at the University of Lund in 1937, but his education was interrupted by World War II, during which he returned to military service. His early work on spatial diffusions of populations first came to light with his Ph.D. dissertation, in which he tracked how innovations in agricultural methods were spread in Sweden. When this paper was later published as Innovation Diffusion As a Spatial Process in 1967, it quickly became a classic in the field. A professor of geography at the University of Lund from 1953 to 1971, Hägerstrand became an influential figure by lecturing abroad and through his work in helping to found the Academica Europaea. Publications such as his 1970 paper "What about People in Regional Space?," in which he demonstrated that not just distance but also travel time were important considerations when analyzing population movements, were important to the field, as well his development of geo-coding and computer mapping techniques that are still used by geographers today. Though much of his work remains untranslated, some are available in English, including Space and Time in Geography (1981). Internationally honored for his contributions to the field, Hägerstrand was elected a corresponding member of the British Academy and earned such awards as the Vautin Lud medal of France and the Victoria Medal from the Royal Geographical Society, as well as honorary doctorates from the universities at Glasgow, Bristol, and Edinburgh.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Independent (London, England), May 26, 2004, p. 35.

Hägerstrand, (Stig) Torsten (Erik) 1916-2004

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article