Happy to announce a second publication from DIGI-GOV, forthcoming in Journal of Maps.
Carr, C., Bast, D., Madron, K., Syrus, M. (in press) Mapping the clouds: The matter of data centers
Journal of Maps.
As a preview, here is the abstract:
The social spatial geographies of telecommunications and their infrastructures have long interested scholars in the social sciences, and in urban geography specifically. This paper focuses on data centers. Much effort has been placed in preserving the notion that data centers are ‘clouds’, a terminology that obfuscates the real human geographies of cyberplaces. In this map-making exercise, we visualize the sociopolitical human geographies of data centers, and provoke the reader to consider the impacts that data centers have on residents and their environments. The maps shown in this paper suggest four trends. First, hyperscale data center owners are building near large waterways, signifying a shift in location preferences. Second, data centers stress local administrations, financing, and availability of upstream resources, as hyperscale data centers step up their input needs. Third, data center development is state-led. Fourth the competition for data center industries unfolds across a multi-level governance context.
Keywords: Amsterdam, cyberplace, data centers, hyperscale, Luxembourg, Seattle
See also other similar work from earlier this year: Bast et al. (2022) Four reasons why data centers matter, five implications of their social spatial distribution, one graphic to visualize them, at Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space: