Journal of Geo-information Science ›› 2023, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (10): 1923-1932.doi: 10.12082/dqxxkx.2023.220169

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Geographical Properties and Thinking of Cyberspace

JIANG Dong1,2,3(), GAO Chundong2, GUO Qiquan1,2, CHEN Shuai1,2,3, HAO Mengmeng1,2,3,*()   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Laboratory of Cyberspace Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences and The Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China, Beijing 100101, China
    3. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2022-04-09 Revised:2023-01-30 Online:2023-10-25 Published:2023-09-22
  • Contact: * HAO Mengmeng, E-mail:;
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China(2020YFB1806500);Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(ZDRW-XH-2021-3)


With the development of science and technology, cyberspace has been deeply integrated with people's daily lives and represents a new spatial form of human activities. The cyberspace correlates to the real world, but on the other hand it also differs from it. Cyberspace has distinct geographical characteristics, and the spatial-temporal relationship in geograph remains an indispensable element in cyberspace. Therefore, it is of great significance to apply geographical thinking to the cognition of cyberspace in order to describe the situation of cyberspace and maintain cybersecurity. In this paper, we review the emergence and development of cyberspace, analyze the basic structure and characteristics of cyberspace, and examine the geographical properties of cyberspace based on different views of cyberspace. From the perspective of the three laws of geography, this paper discusses how to use geographical thinking and Geographic Information Science (GIS) methods to describe cyberspace, and takes the visualization of cyberspace, the construction of geographic knowledge graph of cyberspace, and the intelligent analysis of cyberspace behavior as examples to illustrate how to apply geographical thinking to the analysis and research of cyberspace. Exploring the geographical properties of cyberspace and applying geographical techniques to cyberspace protection can provide new insights into the comprehensive governance of cybersecurity, thus improving the cognitive level and governance capabilities of cyberspace in the new era.

Key words: geographical space, cyberspace, geographical properties, geographical thinking, cognition of cyberspace, geography of cyberspace, cyberspace behaviour