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Nowadays, the Internet and cyberspace are unavoidable components of the contemporary world, and a number of recent events have underlined their geopolitical importance. However, the terms “Internet” and “cyberspace” refer to different concepts that are not necessarily identical. While the Internet is a network built on top of concrete physical elements like fiber-optic cables, satellite links, and computers positioned throughout the globe, cyberspace encompasses the applications that use the Internet and seems to break away from the physical dimension to define a new spatial domain. A geopolitical analysis must therefore make a distinction between these two dimensions. First, we shall use a number of concrete examples (Iran, Syria, and France) to demonstrate the importance of examining Internet infrastructures from a geographical perspective. These infrastructures can be targeted in times of conflict and, more generally, their placement in the physical landscape raises traditional geographical and geopolitical questions, especially in terms of spatial planning and spatial inequalities. Secondly, this article provides an initial vision of what the emerging research field of “cyber-geography” might encompass. Similarly to geography, which serves to study our relationship to land and physical space, cyber-geography should adopt a spatial perspective to examine our relationship to cyberspace. This will involve developing new tools to describe cyberspace from the inside while also raising a number of theoretical questions.
- Geographic Analysis of the Internet or Cyber-geography?
- The Concept of Network
- Geopolitics of the Internet and Its Infrastructures
- Is Iran Isolated and Vulnerable on the Internet?
- The Internet Link between Syria and Lebanon
- French Internet Exchange Points and Their Geographical Distribution
- Depicting Cyberspace
- Conclusion: Toward Cyber-geography?