Accessibility in a Wired World
The information society is bringing about fundamental spatial and temporal
changes in the organization of human activity. Current urban models are
no longer capable of representing spatial structures and behaviors of a
wired society. These models are based on physical notions of distance and
connectivity that are inadequate to understanding these new forms of structures
and behaviors. Physical accessibility is still important, but telecommunications
and information technologies are dramatically modifying and expanding the
scope of this core geographic concept. Paradoxically, GIS is a product
of this new information society, and yet it remains rooted in traditional
modes of geographical representation. While the conceptual issues are relevant
at all geographic scales, we propose to focus on the urban scale in order
to create special synergies of need and expertise that fit especially well
into the Varenius framework.
The development of space-time topologies that accommodate both
the real and virtual worlds. This accommodation includes a conceptual
topology and actual technical implementation. This task is fundamental
to the other activities noted below and to urban analysis in general.
The development of the graphical representation of these topologies
in geographic information systems.
A second goal is to lay the foundation for a new generation of urban
models that incorporate these conceptual and technical perspectives,
includng a specification of new data needs.
A third set of tasks is the application of these new models to conduct
simulations that explore possible future behaviors and structures.
Categories of participants:
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