Inside Higher Ed
May 18th, 2015
Nearly 9,000 people, myself included, attended the annual conference of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in late April 2015. The size of the conference has been growing over the last several decades and it has become a de facto
international gathering despite the 'American' moniker; a trading space
of sorts to present papers, share ideas, formulate collaborative
research proposals, source prospective faculty, share gossip, have good
times, etc. Of the 8,950 people who flew/drove/trained it to Chicago
this April, 5,716 came from the US, 726 came from Canada, 666 from the
UK, 257 came from China, and nearly equivalent numbers (35 vs 37) came
from Singapore vs Mexico. All told, attendees came from 84 countries in
total and they're mapped out below courtesy of my department's Cartography Lab.
Needless to say this map highlights a highly uneven pattern of
attendance with curiosities such as why are there so few geographers
from nearby Mexico at the event, or why are more Canada-based
geographers attending the AAG versus than annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers (nearly 400 will be attending that event in lovely Vancouver shortly).