Accessibility to Information within the Internet: How can it be Measured and Mapped?
One definition of the Internet is ‘... a collection of resources that can be reached from those networks’ (Krol and Hoffman 1993, 1). This definition provides the starting point for my conceptualization of accessibility in the Information Age. I will examine how one can begin to measure and visualize the aspects of accessibility to information resources within the Internet. My discussion starts with the assumption that a person has physical access to the Internet, via a networked computer1. Once this ‘physical’ connectivity has been overcome, how accessible are the information resources, people, and electronic places available online? What are the future accessibility issues that need to be considered to realize the full potential of the Internet beyond basic connectivity? As the Microsoft mantra says, where do you want to go today?, so what resources are accessible within the Internet and how do you reach them? This is very much a concern with individual accessibility and with developing a behavioral geography for Cyberspace (Brunn 1998, Kwan 1998).
KeywordsVirtual World Information Space Internet Service Provider Accessibility Measure Information Accessibility
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Alderman, D.H. and Good, D.B. 1997. Exploring the virtual South: The idea of a distinctive region on ‘The Web’. Southeastern Geographer 37:20–45.Google Scholar
- Alderman, D.H. 1998. Finding the heart of Dixie in cyberspace: The Internet as a new laboratory for cultural geography, paper presented at The Association of American Geographers 94 th Annual Meeting, March, Boston MA.Google Scholar
- Anders, P. 1998. Envisioning Cyberspace: Designing 3D Electronic Space. New York:.McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
- ASIS 1998. American Society for Information Science (ASIS) ‘98 — Information Access in the Global Information Economy, 24–29 October, Pittsburgh PA.Google Scholar
- Batty, M. 1990. Invisible cities, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 17:127–30.Google Scholar
- Beckett D. 1997. 30% accessible A survey of the UK Wide Web, Proceedings of the Sixth International WWW Conference, April, Stanford CA.Google Scholar
- Bharat, K. and Broder, A. 1998. A Technique for measuring the relative size and overlap of Web search engines, Proceedings of the Seventh International WWW Conference, April, Brisbane Australia, 379–88.Google Scholar
- Bray, T. 1996. Measuring the Web, Computer Networks and ISDN Systems 2:8 7–11, 993–1005.Google Scholar
- Cairncross, F. 1997. The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Will Change Our Lives. Cambridge MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Castells, M. 1996. The Rise of the Network Society, Vol. 1 of The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
- demente, P. 1998. The State of the Net: The New Frontier. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Couclelis, H. 1996. The death of distance, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 23: 387–89.Google Scholar
- Damer, B. 1998. Avatar!: Exploring and Building Virtual Worlds on the Internet. Berkeley CA: Peachpit Press.Google Scholar
- December, J. 1995. A cybermap gazetteer. In Staple, G.C. (ed.) TeleGeography 1995: Global Communications Traffic Statistics & Commentary. Washington DC: TeleGeography Inc., 74–81.Google Scholar
- Dodge, M. 1998. Journey to the centre of the Web. In Staple, G.C. (ed.) TeleGeography 1998/99: Global Communications Traffic Statistics & Commentary. Washington DC: TeleGeography, Inc., 150–54.Google Scholar
- Dodge, M. 1999a. Explorations in AlphaWorld: The geography of 3d virtual worlds on the Internet, paper presented at RGS-IBG Annual Conference — Geographies of the Future, Leicester UK, 4–7 January.Google Scholar
- Dyson, E. 1999. Search and searchability, The Guardian, Online section, 14 January, 11.Google Scholar
- Henkel, T. 1998. An Internet artifact: place-concepts revealed in the virtual world. Paper presented at the Telecommunications and the City Conference, Athens GA, University of Georgia, March.Google Scholar
- Hillis, K. 1996. A geography of the eye: the technologies of virtual reality. In Shield, R. (ed.) Cultures of the Internet: Virtual Spaces, Real Histories, Living Bodies London: Sage Publications, 70–98.Google Scholar
- Holderness, M. 1998. Who are the world’s information-poor? In Loader, B. (ed.) Cyberspace Divide: Equality, Agency and Policy in the Information Society. London: Rout-ledge, 35–56.Google Scholar
- ITU 1997. Challenges to the Network: Telecommunications and the Internet. Geneva: International Telecommunication Union, September.Google Scholar
- Jellinek, D. 1998. Door policy at Number 10, The Guardian Online section 7 May, 7.Google Scholar
- Network Wizards 1998. Internet Domain Survey (http://www.nw.com/zone/WWW/top.html).
- Nielsen, J. 2000. Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity. Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing.Google Scholar
- Norris, D.A. 1998. The developing world and the World-Wide Web: Search engine topical coverage, 1997. Paper presented at The Association of American Geographers 94th Annual Meeting, March, Boston MA.Google Scholar
- NUA 1999. How many online? (http://www.nua.ie/surveys/how_many_online/index.html).
- Paxson, V., End-to-end routing behavior in the Internet, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, October 1997 5(5):601–15.Google Scholar
- Pirolli, P., Pitkow, J. and Rao, R. 1996, Silk from a sow’s ear: extracting usable structures from the Web, Computer-Human Interaction (CHI’96) Conference, April, Vancouver, Canada.Google Scholar
- Pitkow, J.E. 1998. Summary of WWW characterizations. Paper presented at The Seventh International World-Wide Web Conference, April, Brisbane, Australia.Google Scholar
- Quarterman, J.S., Smoot, CM. and Gretchen, P. 1994. Internet interaction pinged and mapped, Proceedings of the INET’94 Conference, Internet Society, July, Prague, 522:1–4.Google Scholar
- Quarterman, J.S. 1997. The Internet weather report. In Staple, G.C. (ed.) TeleGeography 1997/98: Global Communications Traffic Statistics & Commentary. Washington DC: TeleGeography Inc., 69–72.Google Scholar
- Rafaeli, S., Sudweeks, F. and McLaughlin, M. 1998. Network & Netplay: Virtual Groups on the Internet. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Rickard, J. 1996. Mapping the Internet with Traceroute. Boardwatch Magazine 10 (December). (http://boardwatch.internet.com/mag/96/dec/bwm38.html).
- Rickard, J. 1997. Backbone performance measurement, Boardwatch Magazine Directory of Internet Service Providers 2(Fall):22–31.Google Scholar
- Rossney, R. 1996. Metaworlds. Wired A.06:U0ff. Google Scholar
- Salus, P.H. 1995. Casting the Net: From ARPANET to Internet and Beyond… Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.Google Scholar
- Schroeder, R. 1997. Networked worlds: social aspects of multi-user virtual reality, Sociological Research Online 2:4. (http://www.socresonline.org.Uk/socresonline/2/4/5.html).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Shenk, D. 1997. Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut. San Francisco: Harper.Google Scholar
- Vevo, 1999. AlphaWorld Mapper (http://awmap.vevo.com/).
- Woodruff, A., Aoki, P.M., Brewer, E., Gauthier, P. and Rowe, L.A. 1996. An investigation documents from the World-Wide Web. Paper presented at the Fifth International World Wide Web Conference, May, Paris.Google Scholar
- Wresch, W. 1996. Disconnected: Haves and Have-Nots in the Information Age. New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
- Wurman, R.S. 1997. Information Architects. New York; Graphis Press Corp.Google Scholar