Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (12): 1949-1964.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1698-7

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Theoretical basis and technical methods of cyberspace geography

GAO Chundong1, GUO Qiquan2, JIANG Dong1(), WANG Zhenbo1, FANG Chuanglin1, HAO Mengmeng1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. 11th Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, Beijing 100741, China
  • Received:2019-09-10 Accepted:2019-10-12 Online:2019-12-25 Published:2019-12-06
  • Contact: JIANG Dong
  • About author:Gao Chundong (1976─), specialized in the management of science, technology and education. E-mail:


Cyberspace is a new spatial realm of activities involving both humans and data, and it has become a cornerstone of the national security of every country. A scientific understanding of cyberspace is essential for analyzing cyberspace incidents, governing cyberspace and ensuring cybersecurity. Accordingly, cyberspace has become a new field of geographic research in the Information Age. Against the backdrop of fierce international competition over cyberspace, there has been an urgent need to strengthen research between the fields of geography and cybersecurity, leading to theoretical and methodological innovations that have created the sub-discipline of cyberspace geography. Cyberspace geography (CG) extends geographical research from real spaces to virtual spaces, and its theoretical basis is the evolution of the traditional geographic human-land relationship theory into a human-land-network relationship theory. CG research includes constructing mapping relationships between cyberspace and real space, redefining the traditional geographic concepts of distance and regions for cyberspace, creating a language, models and methodologies for visually representing cyberspace, drawing maps of cyberspace, and researching the principles governing the evolution of cyberspace structures and behaviors. The technical methods of CG include collecting and integrating data on elements of cyberspace, visually representing cyberspace and conducting cyberspace situational and behavioral intelligence awareness. Intelligence awareness covers cyberspace situational status assessments, network hotspot event dissemination and traceability analysis, and network event situational simulations and risk predictions. CG offers new perspectives on the scientific understanding of cyberspace, the development of disciplines such as geography and cybersecurity, and the creation of national cybersecurity prevention and control mechanisms as well as a community of common future in cyberspace.

Key words: human-land-network relationship, cyberspace map, cyberspace, geographical space, visual representation