The Map in the Machine: Charting the Spatial Architecture of Digital Capitalism (Paperback)

The Map in the Machine: Charting the Spatial Architecture of Digital Capitalism By Luis F. Alvarez Leon Cover Image

The Map in the Machine: Charting the Spatial Architecture of Digital Capitalism (Paperback)

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Digital technologies have changed how we shop, work, play, and communicate, reshaping our societies and economies. To understand digital capitalism, we need to grasp how advances in geospatial technologies underpin the construction, operation, and refinement of markets for digital goods and services. In The Map in the Machine, Luis F. Alvarez Leon examines these advances, from MapQuest and Google Maps to the rise of IP geolocation, ridesharing, and a new Earth Observation satellite ecosystem. He develops a geographical theory of digital capitalism centered on the processes of location, valuation, and marketization to provide a new vantage point from which to better understand, and intervene in, the dominant techno-economic paradigm of our time. By centering the spatiality of digital capitalism, Alvarez Leon shows how this system is the product not of seemingly intangible information clouds but rather of a vast array of technologies, practices, and infrastructures deeply rooted in place, mediated by geography, and open to contestation and change.
Luis F. Alvarez Leon is Assistant Professor of Geography at Dartmouth College. He researches the political economy of geospatial data, media, and technologies.