IGU Commission on the Geography of Information Society Panel
  The Geographical Dimension of the Information Society
  Return to List of Themes
  (Last updated: October 24th, 2005)
 
 
. . .
  The Geographical Dimension of the Information Society  
  Presented by:  
  International Geographical Union's Commission on the Geography of Information Society  
     
  Panel Members:  
  Aharon Kellerman, IGU Commission on the Geography of the Information Society  
  Emmanuel Eveno, University of Toulouse-Le Mirail, GRESOC, France  
  Philippe Vidal, Universite Le Havre, France  
  Maria Paradiso, Universita del Sannio, Italy  
  Henry Bakis, Universite de Montpellier II et UMR ESPACE, France  
. . .

 
 
    View Full Paper
    View Bio
    Join a discussion on this paper and theme
 
. . .
  The Geography of the Information Society: An Overview  
  Aharon Kellerman, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Haifa, Israel, and Chair, IGU Commission on the Geography of the Information Society,  
. . .
 
. . .
 

The geography of the information society is one of the newest in human geography, and as its name suggests, it attempts to explore and study the territorial dimension of the information society. Its general roots may be easily identified in the tremendous growth of information technology (IT). Within geography the field has grown out of telecommunications geography, so that the emphasis has moved from the study of "pipelines" to the study of their contents. The origins of the geographical study of telecommunications and information geographies were in France in the 1960s, with some beginnings also in the USA, followed later by the UK and Israel. The field received recognition by the International Geographical Union (IGU) through commissions devoted first to the study of the geography of telecommunications and later to the study of the geography of the information society.

 
     
  The change from an accent on telecommunications to one on information has occurred in the mid-1990s, side by side with the introduction of the Internet and the massive adoption of mobile telephones. The study of the geography of the information society has several dimensions. The first deals with information per se, namely the locations of IT centers, and the locations of information production, hosting, transmission, and consumption. The second deals with the global mapping of information society (e-Atlas), and the third deals with various societal aspects, such as urban and regional planning, mobility, security, and real space/cyberspace relations.  
. . .
 
 
 
 
    View Full Paper
    View Bio
    Join a discussion on this paper and theme
 
. . .
  The eAtlas Perspective: Territorial Dimensions of the Information Society  
  Emmanuel Eveno, Professor  
  University of Toulouse-Le Mirail, GRESOC, France  
. . .
 
. . .
 

In the first times of the emergence of the "Information Society”, the public policies were focused on national and global scales. The trivial theory was that which evoked the disappearance (or the death, the collapses) of the distances, the realization of a kind of "total/global village".

 
     
  It appears obvious from now on that far from spreading itself on a uniform model, the "Information Society" is plural. It is articulated on the territories of the everyday life, on regional and local scales... It thus relates to the local communities and this as much in the developed countries that those less developed.  
     
  However, faced to the theory of the “Global Village”, we generally miss objectivity for the comprehension from what occurs within the territories. We miss in particular empirical data.  
     
  We think that the community of the geographers has vis-a-vis with this problem a responsibility. It consists to affirm the interest of a geographical approach and to show it by the production of an essential tool for the being Digital : an Atlas of the Information Society.  
. . .
 
 
 
 
    View Full Paper
    View Bio
    Join a discussion on this paper and theme
 
. . .
  Services Geolocalized in the European Metropolises: Towards a Possible Inflection of Urban Mobilities?  
  Philippe Vidal, Maitre de Conférences, Université, Le Havre, France  
. . .
 
. . .
 

The articulation between Information and the Communication Technologies (ICT) and urban mobilities constitutes a major axis of reflexion for the geographer-developer.

 
     
  For some time, the problems took a new dimension under the effect of technical, economic and social evolutions. Miniaturization of the electronic components allowing the operators to develop devices increasingly lighter and multi supports; the fast equipment of the urban territories in telecommunications networks without wire (wi-fi bluetooth); the presence in the metropolises of trade and administrations allowing to develop innovating services; and finally the potential of consumers gathered in these metropolises, are as many factors around whose projects of city and projects in the city are worked out.  
     
  The operators seized the occasion to explore new economic models, the towns seized the occasion to develop a innovating urban public action and the tradesmen seized the occasion to discover new customers.  
     
  This article proposes to give a progress report on new relations established between the city and ICT. It questions the relation of the consuming townsman to urbanity in a context where the local public actors regard the commercial fact as being factor of space organization and relaunching of the downtown areas.  
. . .
 
 
 
 
    View Full Paper
    View Bio
    Join a discussion on this paper and theme
 
. . .
  Integrating the Social Sciences and Engineering for a Better Information Society: the Bridging Role of Information Geography  
  Maria Paradiso, Professor, Universita del Sannio, Centre of Excellence on Software Technologies and DASES  
  Benevento, Italy  
. . .
 
. . .
  Some years ago OECD launched a debate on ‘Rethinking Social Sciences’ with consequent Declarations of Lisbon and Vienna (2001, 2002), also sustained by the EU Commission Research Directorate-General and UNESCO management. An international framework called WSIS-the World Social Science Initiative was established, promoted by the International Social Science Council, in order to enhance the relevance of social sciences for policy making. Similarly, the growing demand of the ICT engineering in public and private sectors put the question of the ‘social role’ of engineers often advanced in several national associational organisation in the field. From the perspective of policies for the enhancement of information society, efforts to cope with policy-making imply integration between social sciences and engineering knowledge and competence. This type of integration is argued in this presentation as necessary for an effective policy-making, which requires cultural knowledge as well as knowledge of socio-economic conditions of different areas. The paper presents and discusses the metaphor of a bridge between engineering and social sciences with a specific bridging role provided by the competence and accumulated knowledge in the field of information geography.  
. . .
 
 
 
 
    View Full Paper
    View Bio
    Join a discussion on this paper and theme
 
. . .
  New Territories of the Identity, ICT Networks, and Cultural Identities - Regional Minorities and Diasporas  
  Henry Bakis, Professor, Universite de Montpellier III et UMR ESPACE, France  
. . .
 
. . .
  With the development of the infrastructures of transportation, of telecommunications and with the growing usage of telemeetings, the physical and mental barriers lost of their opacity on the geographical space. The globalization phenomenon adds again to the current event of these questions.  
     
  One will wonder if Internet constitutes a space where testimonies, practice and claims of Cultural Identity only show themselves. Or, if Internet allows the question of the identity of minority groups to put itself in new terms by the new usages that it gives rise to ? Which are the relations between the new means of communications offered by the ICT and the renewal of cultural affirmations of different groups ?  
     
  To convince itself that a relation exists is easy. It suffices to sail on the net, to note attendance of this virtual territory (not always peaceful!). For all the minorities appreciate the possibilities that TIC offer them and they are very present on Internet. One was able to speak for example of Global Diasporas.  
. . .