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The live outdoor webcams and the construction of virtual geography

Troels Degn Johansson

pp. 181-189


The live outdoor webcam seems inseparable from the mid-1990s' popular proliferation of the Internet. Combining a well-known medium, i.e. the photograph, with a new one, i.e. the Internet, the live outdoor webcam seems in the rear-view mirror to have contributed significantly to the popular perception of the Internet as a globally distended and thus "geographical" medium. Moreover, due to its role in the NASA Triana mission, the never-realised flagship of the Clinton–Gore administration's Digital Earth project, the live webcam seemed to play an important part in the construction of what leading geographers coined a "virtual geography"—the geography of the Internet, and the networked geography—that sought to establish itself as a new field of study during the late 1990s. In order to substantiate for this interpretation, I would like in the first part of this article to identify a number of basic characteristics of the outdoor webcam and, in the second, to analyse and discuss two papers written by leading scholars in the field; papers which have been important in the assessment of the impact of the Internet and geographical information systems (GIS) before the scientific community as well as policy makers within technological innovation and the public sector.

Publication details

Published in:

Allingham Peter, Raahauge Kirsten Marie (2008) Constructing significant spaces. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 21 (4).

Seiten: 181-189

DOI: 10.1007/s12130-008-9060-x


Degn Johansson Troels (2008) „The live outdoor webcams and the construction of virtual geography“. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 21 (4), 181–189.