Geographical studies on information arose from contact analysis and studies of urban systems that measured the frequency of (electronic) communications. Studies of media and local communications followed, after which information was determined to be the driving force in society. Subsequently, the ‘geography of information’ was proposed by some experts, and this newly proposed sub-discipline was divided into two fields: one was the geography of the information society, and the other was the geography of cyberspace. When the geography of cyberspace was first analyzed, cyberspace was deemed to be a kind of Utopia in which information and communication technology could solve almost all social problems, and a borderless society was thought to be the inevitable outcome. But many experts have demonstrated geographical difference in cyberspace through their studies of computer networks, information flow, and social networks. In addition, some geographers argue that we should see cyberspace and real space syncretically as a ‘geocyberspace.’
This article discusses four fields of geographical study of the Internet and suggests four viewpoints and three means of analysis. The four fields are cyberspace, urban space, industrial space, and social networks, which are categorized by two axes: topology vs. activity, and hierarchical vs. horizontal. The four viewpoints are categorized by two axes: global vs. local and real vs. virtual. ‘Geocyberspace’ is spread over the four viewpoints. Finally, the three means of analysis are network analysis, qualitative analysis of the texts which can be read on the Internet, and ethnography.