English, Article edition: Rethinking time geography in the information age Helen Couclelis

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Physical Description
  • article
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Rethinking time geography in the information age
Author
  • Helen Couclelis
Physical Description
  • article
Notes
  • As everyday activities are increasingly carried out at least in part through digitally mediated remote interaction, researchers interested in the complex relationships between urban activities, spaces, and travel are running up against the limits of familiar forms of time geography. This paper argues that because information and communication technologies (ICTs) are loosening the traditionally close links between activity, place, and time, physicalist models such as the space – time path and prism of time geography may need to be reexamined in light of the new realities. An important part of these new realities is the fact that virtual communications depend on specific kinds of material means (computers and mobile phones, in particular). These now compete with and complement a fundamentally different kind of material means (of physical transportation) which have traditionally been at the basis of time-geographic analyses. The paper proposes a novel conceptual framework for time geography, whereby people’s space – time behavior is modeled not just in a three-dimensional space but in a multidimensional space. The framework amounts to a primitive domain ontology for conceptualizing human activity in an ICT-rich world, and can naturally accommodate activity in cyberspace as well as in physical space. The objectives are: (1) to expand our ability to understand activities in space and time in the age of ICT by explicitly representing choices of means (here, transportation-related and communication-related means) to serve specific ends: to be most useful, this should be done within the same model that also tracks people’s spatiotemporal trajectories; (2) more specifically, to improve our ability to represent and analyze the increasing variety of activities carried out with the help of ICT as these relate to time and place, and (3) to do so in a way that conserves the power of traditional time geography and is practical enough to be implemented. A few simple examples are discussed and illustrated with the help of parallel coordinates plots.
  • RePEc:pio:envira:v:41:y:2009:i:7:p:1556-1575
Language
  • English
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