The Professional Geographer (2007) 59(4): 434-446.
Mobile Communications, Social Networks,
and Urban Travel: Hypertext as a New Metaphor
for Conceptualizing Spatial Interaction
The widespread use of mobile communications is leading to new practices in our family
life and social life, and these changes have significant implications for the study of urban
travel. Because of the adoption of new modes of space-time coordination, changing time
use and increasing mobility, changing use of existing urban nodes, the blurring of the
boundaries between home and work, the importance of social networks and social capital,
and the shift to person-to-person connectivity, the spatial structure and processes of
interaction among individuals have become much more complicated in thise age of mobile
communications. Static spatial frameworks based on fixed points (e.g., home or
workplace) and distances among them are no longer adequate for understanding urban
travel. The study of urban travel now needs new conceptualizations and new
Key Words: activity patterns, mobile communications, social
networks, spatial interaction, urban travel.
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