Cultural Heritage Cyberinfrastructure: A Geographic Case Study of China
Jablonski, Jon R.
The Internet affects many aspects of daily life and economic activity in globalized economies. The network city thesis posits that the Internet enables disbursed methods of production and new forms of economic activity. Existing economic geography literature concentrates on revenue generating firms. The concept of Cultural Heritage Cyberinfrastructure (CHCi) is developed in order to account for economic activities of nongoverning and nonrevenue generating firms, and is tested against the online activities of libraries. China, with its administratively homogeneous provincial library system and rapidly changing economy, is examined. The central government and provincial libraries are cooperatively building the National Digital Culture Network of China to provide information services to urban migrants and subsidize rural development efforts through CHCi. These projects are found to be more active in less-economically transitioned western provinces. CHCi is found to be a useful construct for studying non-governing, non-market segments of an economy.