We Know Where You Are. And We’re More and More Sure What That Means

Part of the Law, Governance and Technology Series book series (LGTS, volume 11)


Knowing where something occurs is most meaningful if placed in relation to other events, people, and things. Recent innovations in pervasive information and computing technology (PICT) and related information technology infrastructures open up capabilities to record and analyze locations and relations among events in unparalleled fashion, leading to increases in data about where people are and what they do. Spatial analysis can identify many of these relations and help create penetrating insights. First, this chapter considers how the field of geography has developed analytical capabilities that support understanding online and virtual activities involving pervasive information technology. Because of a growing infrastructure with a capability to thoroughly record locations and events, coupled with computational approaches that mine data and cross-reference data from different sources, geographic analysis has become a commonplace means of analyzing data and establishing patterns of activities or information about individuals. With vast amounts of location data and the use of analysis techniques, it has become possible to not only know where people are, but what the aggregation of data from different sources means. Also this chapter reviews recent developments and their underlying geographic concepts, and points to important questions in considering the role of location and relations in information-age surveillance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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