GeoWorld August 2012

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no SN linkage, as in her Google Earth maps of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. At other times, such as when she analyzed the tribal structure within the Sudan, the SN links were overwhelmingly dominant, and the geographic connection was "dif- ficult," as she herself readily admitted. A successful integration of the worlds of geographic and network space has yet to be achieved. Spatial Special When Social? The short answer is "sometimes, but not often." Indeed, there are occasions when we're interested in geography, such as when using SNs to find a service or product. Because of this, social-media services such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook all offer a location search function to find nearby members of a social or business network. In such situations, spatial remains quite special. However, when Carley attempted to analyze the network of American cities, for example, she found "no geospatial relation." Spatial wasn't special at all. Establishing when and where social networks are spatial likely will occupy GIScientists for the rest of the decade. Tobler's celebrated First Law of Geography that "Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things" now must be recast: "Everything is connected to everything else, but things connected with fewer links are more related"—and geography may well be irrelevant. The at Be a part of the largest and most comprehensive worldwide directory of hardware, software and services for the geospatial technology industry. Go to to list your company where it will be seen by 35,000 unique visitors every month. Basic Listing is FREE! Includes: To ensure your listing is noticed, we offer two paid levels: Enhanced and Premier. Go to and maximize your online exposure! AUGUST 2O12 / WWW . GEOPLA CE . COM 13

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