time–space convergence

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Places are separated by absolute distance and by time. With improvements in communication systems and methods of transport, this time-distance diminishes. In essence, time–space convergence means that the friction of distance—a concept fundamental to conventional central place theory, diffusion theory, and location theory—is lessening. In 1992, R. O'Brien predicted ‘the end of geography’. He was wrong. Simson (2005) J. Transp. Geog. 26, 2 writes that ‘speed permeates the history of transport and modernity, but it does so in multiple ways. The time–space compression narrative is not adequate to encompass this history.’ Furthermore ‘there are different kinds of technologies, different levels of technological change, and even the same technology can be used differently by different people in different places’ (N. Coe et al. 2007).

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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