Advances in Earth Science ›› 2007, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (10): 1005-1011. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2007.10.1005

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The Geography of Cyberspace: Review and Prospect

SUN Zhong-wei 1,LU Zi 2,WANG Yang 3   

  1. 1.Department of Resource & Environment ,Shijiazhuang college,Shijiazhuang 050035, China;2.College of Resource & Environment Science,Hebei Normal University,Shijiazhuang 050016, China;3.College of Career Technology,Hebei Normal University,Shijiazhuang 050031, China
  • Received:2007-05-05 Revised:2007-08-06 Online:2007-10-15 Published:2007-10-10

SUN Zhong-wei,LU Zi,WANG Yang. The Geography of Cyberspace: Review and Prospect[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2007, 22(10): 1005-1011.

The term ‘cyberspace’ is a recent creation and attributed to William Gibson, a science fiction writer who first used the word in his 1984 novel Neuromancer. Cyberspace began to be approved broadly after the world wide web came into being and was popularized to masses in 1991. After the same time, it took one kind of new space and thing which also attracted great attentions from the geographic education world. Especially the publication of ‘Toward geographies of cyberspace’ by Kitchin in 1998 played the guidance role. The geography of cyberspace has become one of the priority directions of current geography. This paper reveals the ways in which geographers have engaged with studies of cyberspace. Taking many kinds of journal databases and search engines as search source, we examine the research findings in geography of cyberspace. According to the study content,six main research areas of cyberspace in the word are summed up:(1)the importance of geography of cyberspace;(2) virtual community;(3)virtual avatar and perception;(4)economic geography of cyberspace; (5)mapping cyberspace;(6)Internet and information flows. And Internet and regional economy differences, website and virtual geographic environment are three hot spot fields of Chinese research. Then, these fields are overviewed. Finally, a brief commentary study is given to make a prospect of the geography of cyberspace, and three development topics in future from outer-layer,inner-layer and interacted-layer are pointed out. An agenda for future geographical research is outlined and an approach of future study is put forward.

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