2013 volume 45(1) pages 77 – 99

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Graham M, Zook M, 2013, "Augmented realities and uneven geographies: exploring the geolinguistic contours of the web" Environment and Planning A 45(1) 77 – 99

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Augmented realities and uneven geographies: exploring the geolinguistic contours of the web

Mark Graham, Matthew Zook

Abstract. This paper analyzes the digital dimensions of places as represented by online, geocoded references to the economic, social, and political experiences of the city. These digital layers are invisible to the naked eye, but form a central component of the augmentations and mediations of place enabled by hundreds of millions of mobile computing devices and other digital technologies. The analysis highlights how these augmentations of place differ across space and language and highlights both the differences and some of the causal factors behind them. This is performed through a global study of all online content indexed within Google Maps, and more specific analyses of the linguistically and topically segregated layers of information over four selected places. The uneven linguistic geographies that this study reveals undoubtedly influence the many ways in which place is enacted and brought into being. The larger aim of this project is to use these initial mappings of the linguistic contours of the geoweb to push forward a broader debate about how augmented inclusions and exclusions, visibilities and invisibilities will shape the way that places become defined, imagined, and experienced.
Keywords: augmented reality, neogeography, volunteered geographic information, place, Internet

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