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Topographic relations: developing a heuristic device for conceptualising networked relations

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This paper considers whether the deployment of a topographical metaphor may add value to the recent discussion of networked relations. The paper discusses how viewing relations as part of a relational landscape may add a third dimension to the discussion by allowing an appreciation of the strength, or entrenchment, of relations, and how these entrenchments impact on the development of new relations and the resistance to watershed events. The heuristic device is explored through the case of air survey in the 1920s and 1930s. This illustrative case demonstrates how relations are held together, resisted and reformed to different degrees depending on the varying topography of the relational landscape.
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Keywords: Actor Network Theory; air survey; relational landscapes; scale

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 3HE, Email:

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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