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            New technologies and the infrastructure and industries that develop around them have continuously shaped and re-shaped physical and cultural landscapes throughout history. While the antecedents of the information and communications revolution can be traced back beyond the twentieth century, the major burst of telematic products and services and their supporting infrastructures has occurred over the past quarter century. Furthermore, this development is accelerating. The manner in which information and communications technologies are re-shaping patterns of urban settlement is as yet not clear, however. The present paper identifies some emerging trends in the Australian context.


            Author and article information

            Critical Studies in Innovation
            Pluto Journals
            June 1993
            : 11
            : 1
            : 3-29
            8629133 Prometheus, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1993: pp. 3–29
            Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Page count
            Figures: 0, Tables: 0, References: 39, Pages: 27
            Original Articles

            Computer science,Arts,Social & Behavioral Sciences,Law,History,Economics
            information economy,information industries,urban hierarchy,infrastructure,telematic services,Information and communication technology


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            12. Newton, 1992, op. cit.

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            14. ibid., p. 229.

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            17. See Newton, 1992, op. cit.

            18. M. Taylor and N. Thrift, Multinationals and the Restructuring of the World Economy, Cropm Helm, London, 1986.

            19. For an example in relation to the construction sector, see P.W. Newton, B.G. Wilson, J.R. Crawford and S.N. Tucker, ‘Cad Conferencing’, Technical Computing, 77, 1993 (in press).

            20. The National government, through its Federal Airports Corporation and Civil Aviation Authority, regulates this sector of industry.

            21. D. F. Batten, ‘The fourth logistical revolution: implications for Australian cities’, Urban Policy and Research, 9(4), 1992, pp. 233–237.

            22. J. Flood, C. Maher, P. W. Newton and J.R. Roy, The Determinants of Internal Migration in Australia, Indicative Planning Council (IPC), Canberra, 1991; M.G. Wulff, J. Flood and P.W. Newton, Population Movements and Social Justice. An Exploration of Issues, Trends and Implications, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Bureau of Immigration Research, Canberra, 1993.

            23. A. Kellerman, ‘Telecommunications and the geography of metropolitan areas’, Progress in Human Geography, 8(2), 1984, pp. 222–246; WR. Johnson, Anything, anytime, anywhere: the future of networking, in D. Leebaert (ed.), Technology 2001: The Future of Computing and Communications, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1991.

            24. P. Keen, Competing in Time: Using Telecommunications for Competitive Advantage, Ballinger, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1986.

            25. M.E. Orlowska, A.M. Lister and I. Fogg, ‘Decentralising spatial databases’, in P. W. Newton, P.R. Zwart and M.E. Cavill (eds), Networking Spatial Information Systems, Belhaven Press, London, 1992.

            26. Keen, 1986, op. cit.

            27. S. Robinson, Analysing the information economy: tools and techniques’, Information Processing and Management, 22, 1986, pp. 183–202; H-J. Engelbrecht, ‘Analysis of structural change using an information sector perspective’, Asian Economies, 58, 1986, pp. 22–46; N.D. Karunaratne, Analytics of information and empirics of the information economy’, The Information Society, 4, 1986, pp. 313–31.

            28. Beniger, op. cit.

            29. C.P. Lion and G. Van Der Mark, ‘Los Angeles’, in J. Schmandt, F. Williams, R.H. Wilson, and S. Strover (eds), The New Urban Infrastructure, Praeger, New York, 1990.

            30. T. Noyelle and P. Peace, The Information Industries: New York's New Export Base, Columbia University, New York, 1988.

            31. M. Porat, The Information Economy: Definitions and Measurement, Special Publication 77-12(1), Office of Telecommunications, US Department of Commerce, Washington DC, 1977; M.E. Hepworth, Geography of the Information Economy, Belhaven Press, London, 1989.

            32. Newton, 1992, op. cit.

            33. GIS can be used to powerful effect in developing visualisation tools for examining how organisations are currently structuring their operations (who does what, where) and what communications networks are being used to support the various business functions of the organisation. A persistent problem confronted by research of this nature in the spatial sciences has been, first, the difficulty of adequately representing the structure of major organisations and their networks and, secondly, locating those operations within the wider social space framework which provides the geographical context of the organisation and its activities. Geographic information systems (GIS) now provides us with the means of doing both. GIS possesses the functionality for configuring the communication network of a particular organisation, given data on each node and link in the network. Each node can be further characterised by the principal type(s) of economic activity undertaken at that location and each link can be differentiated in several ways according to the service type (e.g., ISDN, packet switched, PSTN/modem etc), network speed and volume of traffic. Clearly, an organisation's communications network should not be viewed in vacuo. Additional layers of information relating to such features as workforce location patterns — as indicative of labour market access; spatial pattern of personal taxable income — as indicative of disposable income; and metropolitan network infrastructure, can assist in understanding why organisations locate their operations in a particular fashion. GIS permits an overlay of an organisation's communication network onto a variety of landscapes: transport and communication networks (for distribution and access), suburb income (purchasing power), area occupational structure (labour market), industry profile (agglomeration potential) etc. GIS is a methodology offering an organisation-by-organisation approach for studies of the geography of business operations; as well as opportunities for aggregation and synthesis across organisations or comparative evaluation between firms within the same business sector; and the monitoring of change over time in the evolution of organisations and their communications networks (see P. W. Newton, J.R. Crawford, S. Ioannou, P. Bouchier and M. Katz-Even, ‘GIS supports corporate network analysis’, Business Geographies, 1(1), 1993, pp. 40–42, for more details).

            34. Keen, op. cit.; G. J. Mulgan, Communication and Control: Networks and the New Economics of Communication, The Guilford Press, New York, 1991.

            35. See T. Forester, ‘The electronic cottage revisited’, Urban Futures, Special Issue 5, February, 1992, pp. 27–33.

            36. Telecom Australia, Development Forecasting Group, Melbourne, personal communication, 1993

            37. Newton, 1991, op. cit.; Newton, 1992, op. cit.

            38. M. Moss, ‘Telecommunications: shaping the future’, in G. Sternleib and J. Hughes (eds), America's New Market Geography, Center for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers State University, New Jersey, 1988.

            39. J. B. Goddard, The Geography of the Information Economy, PICT Policy Research Paper 11, CURDS, November, 1990.


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