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The 3rd ISPRS Workshop on Dynamic and Multi-Dimensional GIS & the 10th Annual Conference of CPGIS on Geoinformatics
Chen, Jun

ISPRS, Vol.34, Part 2W2, “Dynamic and Multi-Dimensional GIS", Bangkok, May 23-25, 2001
ISPRS, Vol.34,
the entrepreneurial spirit that has inspired Moncton since the
CN offices closed in the mid-1980s is partly due to the
cohabitation of Anglophones and Acadians. The
implementation of a strategic planning exercise between the
two linguistic groups has enabled the Moncton area to take
charge and find various alternatives to deal with the difficult
situation that followed the closing of the CN facilities. Today,
the Acadians living in the Greater Moncton area hold important
positions in the business world, as well as in both the federal
and provincial public service, and in the field of university
teaching (Higgins and Breau, 1993).
This new reality is undoubtedly causing a major transformation
in the region’s socio-spatial structure (Cao, 2001). Over the
past twenty years, transformations have occurred which have
considerably modified the process of spatial distribution of
Greater Moncton’s Acadian and Anglophone inhabitants.
Using a series of centrographic analyses in spatio-temporal
dimensions, this study will attempt to show the aspects related
to the articulation of the important actors, in particular the
Acadians, in the intra-urban migratory phenomenon of the
region being studied. The aim of this series of analyses is to
develop a geographic information system (GIS) on the
evolution of the Acadians, in order to reveal their urban
behaviour practices as compared to those of the Anglophones,
in particular their choice of residential area.
The triad of communities, Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview, that
constitute the Greater Moncton area play a specific role in the
process of spatial distribution of the Acadian and Anglophone
residents. Dieppe and Riverview are traditional ethnolinguistic
focal points and show a marked dichotomy in their linguistic
composition. These two towns act almost as linguistic
“ghettos." The inhabitants of Riverview are almost all
Anglophones. The town of Dieppe demonstrates relatively the
same pattern of homogeneity, but in the opposite sense,
attracting a principally Acadian population (See Table 1).
Moncton, however, presents a dynamic situation overall with
regard to the mixed society of Acadians and Anglophones.
Over the past few decades, the spatial and temporal diffusion
of the spreading phenomena for both the Acadian and
Anglophone populations was significantly accelerated, in
particular due to a considerable increase in the number of
newly arrived Acadians (Roy, 1993). In this sense, this
diffusion corresponds with the transmission and gradual
adoption of the minority Acadian population in this space.
According to Bailly’s study (Bailly et al, 1995), the new arrivals,
minorities in particular, could choose to move to communities
where they could find the milieu the closest to their culture and
their ethnic group. People could also leave their
neighbourhoods when different ethnic or cultural groups
arrived and move to similar urban or suburban zones. From
this perspective, by reproducing spatial regularities,
centrographic analyses help us to understand the major
processes taking place in this transformation.
Given the preponderance of the Acadian-Anglophone dynamic
in the Moncton area, the context’s linguistic reality continues to
play a vital role in the urban practices of the inhabitants. The
series of centrographic analyses concerning the distribution of
English- and French-speaking populations 2 therefore shows a
significant movement in the Greater Moncton area over the
course of the last fifteen years. Figure 1 is composed of four
schematic maps, each corresponding to a census, the first
from 1981, the second from 1986, the third from 1991 and the
The language spoken at home is the language that the
respondant spoke the most often at home at the time of the
census. This variable was asked of 20% of the popuation
(Statistics Canada, 1999).
fourth from 1996 3 . These maps contain two series of ellipses
each, three blue hierarchical ellipses representing the
migratory phenomenon of the Acadian population and three
red hierarchical ellipses representing that of the Anglophones.
Each map also includes five index points that are points of
reference helping to visualize the different movements of the
ellipses. On the map for 1981, Point A and Point B are
therefore located in sector 0011.00 4 (northwest Moncton).
Point C is located in sector 0003.01 (west Moncton), and,
finally, Points D and E are located in sector 0014.00 (one in
the southeast and the other more to the east). Each of the
three hierarchical ellipses contains a central point, which is the
center of gravity point (CG point). There are two points per
map, blue for the Acadian population and red for the
Anglophone population. Figure 3 is the map that enables us to
make a better comparison of the various movements, as this
map only contains the four series of ellipses that represent the
spatial distribution of the Acadians, one series for each of the
The center of gravity (CG) of an ellipse in centrographic
analysis is the relative center of the region being studied,
according to the weight of each of its geographical units 5 .
When studying the spatial distribution of a phenomenon, if this
phenomenon is distributed unevenly between geographical
units, it can be interesting to take into consideration the weight
of each geographical unit and therefore to assign this weight to
each point. The calculation of the coordinates of the center of
gravity will then take into account these disparities in the
weights of the geographical units in the region. It is, in fact, a
useful reference for comparing several geographical units (i.e.
census tracts) at points in the same geographical region or for
comparing the position of one geographical unit over time
(Pumain and Saint-Julien, 1997, p.54).
We determined the weighted centers of gravity for the spatial
distribution of both the English- and French-speaking
populations for the four censuses, i.e. 1981, 1986, 1991 and
1996, and presented them in Figure 1. In 1986, the center of
gravity representing the spatial distribution of the Francophone
population was located in sector 0006.00 (near the center of
Greater Moncton), but touched sectors 0012.00 and 0013.00,
which are closer to the east, compared to in 1981, when the
CG was located at the east of sector 0006.00 without touching
the others. The CG has therefore moved slightly the north and
also slightly to the east. As of the most recent census, in 1996,
the CG only touches sectors 0012.00 and 0013.00; as we
know that it was no longer touching sector 0006.00 in 1991, it
has only continued its trajectory toward the northeast. The
movement or even attraction of the center of gravity seems to
be due to the existence of the town of Dieppe, which still has a
high number of Acadians, and therefore must be drawing the
center of gravity to the east and to the north because of the
presence of the Université de Moncton. The university
promotes the development of the surrounding sectors,
particularly the sectors to the northeast.
However, the center of gravity representing the spatial
distribution of the English-speaking population has
experienced much more limited movement. The center of
gravity for the Anglophones, which was located in sector
0005.00 in 1981, has moved to the east over time, but at a
much slower rate than that of the Acadians; it has never left
3 Statistics Canada only began including the language usage
variable in the Moncton census agglomeration as of 1981.
4 The sector numbers are presented in Figure 2.
5 In this research, the geographical unit is the census tract
(CT). A CT is a small geographical unit representing urban
or rural communities created in census metropolitan areas
and census agglomerations in Canada, in which the city core
has 50 000 inhabitants or more according to the previous
census (Cao and Arseneault, 1999).
this sector. This
of gravity repre
from each other
The evolution o
their major and
the dispersion c
the two spatial c
distribution of
ellipse can be o
variation (Collet,
Let us now look
index points.
Francophones, ’
center of gravity
1981, except the
to the rotation ol
touching the be
points. Finally, ir
now the ellipse
and Point D mo\
The rotation of
weight of the A<
the regions to tl
Moncton and 1
distribution of th
in the northerr
southeast. One
divided, starting
toward the sout
would be the pa
that the area c
toward the nortf
the Acadians. 1
184.49 km 2 in 1!
The Anglophone
This demonsti
Anglophones, w
occupy almost a
the area of the <
than that of the >
Moreover, the
Acadians, which
experienced mo
vertical length o\
rotation toward t
be due to the (
mentioned prevf
in 1981 and its f
the major axis m
degrees north
around 500 met
the minor axis, v
In effect, these
Acadian populati
There have be
relatively short p
the Acadians to
the distribution
completely diffei
have changed t
variation than th
6438 metres in
measured 6204
the minor axis, v
5518 metres by
explains why the