Progress of Information and Communication Geography in China since 2000
2011, 30 (2):
Information and communication geography is an important branch of human geography. In China, the research of information and communication geography can be traced back to the “A preliminary discussion on information geography” in 1989, which was written by Ji Zengmin. After that, four development phases were underwented including problem research, special research, era research and thematic research. The information and communication geography entered a relatively active period in China since 2000. In order to let the geographer have a clearer understanding of the research results which the domestic information and communication geography obtained in nearly 10 years, to attract their attention to this new branch of human geography, and to promote the development in such researches quickly in the future, the authors took the papers in geographical journals in the past 10 years as information and examined the research achievements in geography of information and communication. Seven main research fields are identified: (1) internet geography in domestic exterior stratification, (2) new spatial pattern and structure, (3) informatization and regional economic development, (4) the inter-city or inner-city evolution under the effect of ICT, (5) ICT and spatial organization of firms, (6) ICT and human spatial behavior, and (7) website online service and location selection. Based on the review of the researches, we discovered the following characteristics of the information and communication geography in China: (1) the research groups are relatively weak; (2) the study is linmited by traditional thought, and the data and the methods are insufficient; (3) the research aims mainly at new objects, combined with traditional researches; (4) the reaserch has developed several fields, but the overall quality of the research falls behind that of overseas. Finally, the authors reviewed the research findings and presented five topics for the future, including socio-economic impact of the internet, the impact of ICT on the spatial organization, coupling mechanism between geographical space and cyberspace and geocyberspace, space of flows and nature of mobility, and regional policy issues associated with information society.
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