Geographies of imperfection in telecommunication analysis

  • Grubesic T
  • Murray A
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Abstract

Rapid increases in computing power and data storage capacity, along with the continued evolution of commercial geographic information systems (GIS), have significantly widened the production and consumption of spatial data. Considering the varying disciplines (sociology, economics, public policy, city and regional planning, regional science, geography, etc.) investigating digital economies, the Internet, and telecommunications, it is no surprise that spatial data related to such topics is in high demand. Due to the technological complexities of telecommunication systems, however, analysts need to be aware of potential impacts associated with the use of imperfect spatial information when evaluating telecommunication infrastructure, particularly in the context of social, political, economic and environmental issues. More importantly, the implications of imperfect information on telecommunication policy development must be considered. The purpose of this paper is to explore how data imperfection is resident in a range of telecommunication analyses. A framework is presented for identifying and addressing spatial analysis sensitivities in the use of imperfect information. In addition, a case study examining imperfect information associated with digital subscriber line (xDSL) deployment in Columbus, Ohio is provided. Results suggest a significant difference in the proposed vs. actual availability of xDSL services in the study area. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • GIS
  • Policy
  • Telecommunication
  • Uncertainty

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