Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2000, Vol. 67 ›› Issue (1): 104-111.

The Change from the Geographical Space to Geocyberspace ——Review on the Western Scholars on Regional Effects by Telecommunication

Henry Bakis1, LU Zi 2

1. 1. University Montpellier III, France;
2. Hebei Teachers University, Shijiazhuang 050016
• Received:1999-04-18 Revised:1999-10-09 Online:2000-01-15 Published:2000-01-15
• Supported by:
National Natural Science Foundation of China,No.49501006

Abstract: The geographical environment of all economic actors (citizens, firms, local governments, state governments, etc.) is already——and will be in the near future strongly modified by ICTs revolution. With cyberspace, the non geospace territories built on information electronic networks and without time constraints, it is the central role time instead of distance. The world becomes accessible in “real time” and user communication is not direct with other users but rather is a communication through an interface, such as WWW servers. The notion of cyberspace refers to a society where the technical interface is ever present. So, the process is necessarily a time interfaced communication. Cyberspace, is a kind of space where a state of “effective discontinuity” characterizes the spatio temporal scales of increasingly convergent information, telecommunication, computer and image transmission technologies. Along with time, the notion of space is changing as well. It becomes unimportant for the users. In the web, it is the nature of the problem solving process that is important and not the place from where the needed information is obtained. Work is becoming increasingly dematerialized. It becomes possible to work at any time and any place. This chapter wishes to review these issues in the light of literature on telecommunications geography . The aim of this chapter is to synthesize the main results obtained from research conducted over the past fifteen years. In so doing, we will make a distinction between several classes of authors who wrote about the role of telecommunications in local and regional economic development. Three positions exist. For maximizers, a total territorial revolution is underway, based on the disappearance of the constraints of geographic distance. For minimalists, the territorial impact of telecommunications networks is limited, insufficient and unspecified. They argue that even if telecommunications networks are able to prevent certain areas from being at a disadvantage compared to others, they are totally inadequate alone to promote development. For moderate, the territorial impact of telecommunications networks is potentially significant and even radical, but depends on other factors and often appears paradoxical since these networks favor centralization.

CLC Number:

• F631.99