Comparing the development of border regions with the use of GIS (the case of Russia)
The objective of the paper is to analyze the trends and the dynamics of socio-economic development in the areas on both sides of all Russia's land boundaries (more than 22,000 km long) using remote sensing data and GIS applications at different scales. The originality of this research is in the processing of large amounts of data (30 meters resolution images and medium-scale topographic maps) on vast areas and the construction of maps allowing analyzing the data on a new scale. The peripheral character of most border areas is a serious challenge for the development of cross-border cooperation. Depopulation and the depressed state of their economy do not stimulate contacts between neighboring territories. The authors assess the socio-economic situation on both sides of Russian borders and the contrasts between neighboring territories in the mirror of the structure and the dynamics of land use and the density of settlements and roads. The authors come to the conclusion that the border space experiences further fragmentation. The processes on the 'new' (post-Soviet) and 'old' borders differ by their speed and the character of transformations. Their asynchrony is quickly increasing the asymmetry of cross-border interactions.