Internet Geographer


Neogeography and the Palimpsests of Place: Web 2.0 and the Construction of a Virtual Earth

My article accepted to the Journal of Economic and Social Geography (Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie) entitled “Neogeography and the Palimpsests of Place: Web 2.0 and the Construction of a Virtual Earth” has just been published online. The print version should appear in volume 101 or 102 of the journal early next year. A pre-publication version is available at the following link, and feel free to email me for the final version of the article. The abstract is as follows:

Places have always been palimpsests. The contemporary is constantly being constructed upon the foundations of the old. Yet only recently has place begun to take on an entirely new dimension. Millions of places are being represented in cyberspace by a labor force of hundreds of thousands of writers, cartographers, and artists. This article traces the history and geography of virtual places. The virtual Earth is not a simple mirror of its physical counterpart, but is instead characterized by both black holes of information and hubs of rich description and detail. The tens of millions of places represented virtually are part of a worldwide engineering project that is unprecedented in scale or scope and made possible by contemporary Web 2.0 technologies. The virtual Earth that has been constructed is more than just a collection of digital maps, images, and articles that have been uploaded into Web 2.0 cyberspaces; it is instead a fluid and malleable alternate dimension that both influences and is influenced by the physical world.