Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (3): 371-382.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201703001

• Frontier Forum •     Next Articles

Views on the study of geopolitical environment system simulation

Quansheng GE1,2(), Dong JIANG1,2(), Feng LU1,2, Xiangzheng DENG1,2, Shaoqiang WANG1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2016-04-01 Revised:2016-12-06 Online:2017-03-15 Published:2017-03-15
  • Supported by:
    Major Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.ZDRW-ZS-2016-6


The term of geopolitical environment refers to the combination of both natural and social environment. Geopolitical environment system is a gigantic and complex system which consists of physical element (e.g. topography, geomorphology, water and land resources, meteorological conditions, etc.) and social economic elements (society, ethic, culture, politics etc.). The research of the geopolitical environment system simulation is a scientific support to the understanding of the international geostrategic dynamics and successfully implement the national strategy. In recent years, the connotation and extension of the geopolitical environment system research have changed dramatically due to the international geo-strategic shift, the global economy and technical progress. This paper presents a review of the origin and development of the geopolitical theory, from classical geopolitics before World War Two to the geopolitics during the cold war period, and the geopolitical researches in post-cold war era. The integration of geopolitics and earth system sciences has brought new advances both in the disciplines and methodology in these areas. The key issues of the simulation of the geopolitical environment system include the dynamic changes of the geopolitical factors, the interaction and adaption of the multiple geopolitical environment factors, methods for establishing the geopolitical environment system and virtual geographical environment techniques. The results indicated that faced with these complicated nonlinear problems like "geopolitical environment system", the hierarchical, reasonable generalization of the model and the numerical approximation methods can achieve the results of quantitative analysis for specific geopolitical issues. Meanwhile, the big data technology is increasingly providing a new paradigm for the studies of geopolitical system. By the methods of heterogeneous data mining, machine learning and high-performance computing, it is expected to explore the associated relationships among the elements contained in the geopolitical environment system to forecast and intervene in the geopolitical environment system evolution, and to provide a new technical method for the solutions to geopolitical issues.

Key words: geopolitical environment system, geopolitical events, geopolitics, geo-economics, spatio-temporal simulation