Networks and Spatial Economics

, Volume 14, Issue 3–4, pp 297–316 | Cite as

Spatial Science and Network Science: Review and Outcomes of a Complex Relationship

  • César DucruetEmail author
  • Laurent Beauguitte


For decades, the spatial approach to network analysis has principally focused on planar and technical networks from a classic graph theory perspective. Reference to models and methods developed by other disciplines on non-planar networks, such as sociology and physics, is recent, limited, and dispersed. Conversely, the physics literature that developed the popular scale-free and small-world models pays an increasing attention to the spatial dimension of networks. Reviewing how complex network research has been integrated into geography and regional science reveals a high heterogeneity among spatial scientists as well as key directions for increasing their role inside multidisciplinary researches on networks.


Complex network Scale-free network Small-world network Geography Regional science Spatial network 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/ERC Grant Agreement n. [313847] “World Seastems”.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)UMR 8054 Géographie-CitésParisFrance
  2. 2.UMR 6266 IDEESRouenFrance

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