Urenio Watch Watch: Digital Cities / Cyber Cities

The Geography of Digital Space

Total number of CONE and country code Domain by city, January 1999
The geography of internet, the analysis of its spatial characteristics (users, domain name, traffic), concerns today a significant field for the consideration of space. Urban, regional or human geography could enrich their scientific remarks by watching and understanding the digital space.

Dr. Mathew Zook, assistant professor in the Department of Geography, University of Kentucky, started his Internet Geography Research by his Ph.D., in an assessment to understand how new communications technology was shaping the economic and geographic space in which businesses operate. The Zooknic Internet Geography Project is an ongoing effort to understand and analyze the Internet through the development of a series of metrics on its use and composition. The website offers a combination of free and premium products that reflect this research.

Using a combination of domain names and user counts, the analysis of Mathew Zook provides an assessment of the global distribution of internet content at the national and urban level, especially of the commercial Internet domain. The Zooknic web site presents accurate maps of Internet domains in the world, by country, by region, by city, and for major United States cities (like New York and San Francisco), by neighbourhood. Demonstrates the extraordinary spatial concentration of the Internet industry, explains the geographic features of the high tech venture capital behind the Internet economy.

Manuel Castells, Professor of Sociology and Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, agrees that Mathew Zook’s analysis consists one of the most serious in this field. He has recently referred to Zook’s analysis into his new book “The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society”.

The most significant contribution of Mathew Zook’s analysis is the research of the relationship between physical and digital space. His assessment responses in one of the great myths at the Internet – boom age i.e. the coming of cyberspace heralds the end of the physical constrains, which eventually lead to the dead of physical space and the city, as the most dynamic expression of human’s activities concentration. Zook’s analysis shows that the largest concentrations of Internet users and producers are located in urban areas and many of the most innovative firms in the Internet space are housed in downtowns.

There should be nothing surprising about this since, cities have always been the primary source of innovation and will continue to play this role in the future. Although the power of the Internet does opens up new possibilities for long-range collaboration and even new spaces of interaction within cyberspace it also exhibits much of the traditional unevenness that has characterized urban and economic development throughout history.

Related Web Sources:

Zooknic Internet Geography Project

Alexa web search — a new kind of search engine. With traffic rankings, user reviews and other information about sites, Alexa is a web site discovery tool. Alexa web search combines the powerful Google search engine with Alexa’s comprehensive site information and puts it all inside an Amazon.com interface.

Internet World Usage Statistics for 233 countries and regions of the world, 2005 population statistics and information for Internet Marketing Research.

ClickZ Internet Marketing Solutions

Related Books:

Zook A. Mathew (2005), The Geography of the Internet Industry: Venture Capital, Dot-coms, and Local Knowledge, UK: Blackwell Publishing.

Castells Manuel (2003), The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society, New York: Oxford University Press