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Title: Internet Geography: Spaces of Innovation
Author: Ferreira, Jorge
Keywords: Information Society
Internet Geography
Top Level Domains
Issue Date: 2004
Citation: Proceedings of the ERSA Summer Institute
Abstract: Information Society plays an important role in all kinds of human activity, inducing new forms of economic and social organization and creating knowledge. Over the last twenty years of the 20th century, large investments in telecommunication networks were made to approach economies and put an end to the asymmetries. The most isolated regions were the beneficiaries of this new technological investment’s wave disseminating trough the territories. The new economic scenarios created by globalisation make high capacity backbones and coherent information society polity, two instruments that could change regions fate and launch them in to an economic development context. Technology could bring international projection to services, products and could be the differentiating element between a national and an international economic strategy. So, the networks and its fluxes are becoming two of the most important variables to the economies. Measuring and representing this new informational accessibility, mapping new communities, finding new patterns and localisation models, could be today’s challenge. In the physical/real space, location is defined by two or three geographical co-ordinates. In the network/virtual space or in cyberspace, geography seems incapable to define location, because it doesn’t have a good model. Trying to solve the problem and based on geographical theories and concepts, new fields of study came to light. Internet Geography is one example. In this paper and using Internet Geography and informational cartography, it was possible to observe and analyse the spacialisation of the Internet phenomenon trough the distribution of the IP addresses in the Portuguese territory. This work shows the great potential and applicability of this indicator to regional development studies, and at the same time. The IP address distribution of Country Code Top Level Domains (.pt for Portugal) could show the same economic patterns, reflecting territorial inflexibility or, by opposition, new regional hierarchies. The spatial concentration or dispersion of top level domains seems to be a good instrument to analyse the info-structural dynamic and economic development of a territory, especially at regional level. At the same time it shows that information technologies are essential to innovation and competitive advantage.
Appears in Collections:FCSH: DGPR - Artigos em revista internacional com arbitragem científica

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