The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA Working Paper 147


1 April 2009

Virtual Geodemographics: Repositioning Area Classification for Online and Offline Spaces

Computer mediated communication and the Internet has fundamentally changed how consumers and producers connect and interact across both real space, and has also opened up new opportunities in virtual spaces. This paper describes how technologies capable of locating and sorting networked communities of geographically disparate individuals within virtual communities present a sea change in the conception, representation and analysis of socioeconomic distributions through geodemographic analysis.

We argue that through virtual communities, social networks between individuals may subsume the role of neighbourhood areas as the most appropriate units of analysis, and as such, geodemographics needs to be repositioned in order to accommodate social similarities in virtual, as well as geographical, space. We end the paper by proposing a new model for geodemographics which spans both real and virtual geographies.

This working paper is available as a PDF. The file size is 1365KB.

Authors: Paul Longley, Alex Singleton

Publication Date: 1/4/2009

Download working paper No. 147.