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The Alexandria Digital Library Project (10 May 2004)
Geolibraries stand to benefit from trends in society that are giving greater importance to place and to geography. The concept of place-based research is becoming popular in many disciplines: instead of searching for principles that apply anywhere at any time, this paradigm emphasizes the inherent heterogeneity of environmental and social processes, and the need to understand specific cultures and physical environments. The homogenizing effects of globalization are being countered by trends to localization, and the resolution of issues at neighborhood and community levels. Local information is essential in public administration when general policies and principles must be applied in local conditions. Marketing is increasingly local, with advertising adapted to the needs and profiles of local markets. In the early days of the popularization of the Internet, it was fashionable to declare the death of location-the global reach of electronic communication would make place irrelevant (Cairncross, 1997). The tide has definitely turned, however: "It was na´ve to imagine that the global reach of the Internet would make geography irrelevant. Wireline and wireless technologies have bound the virtual and physical worlds closer than ever." (Economist, 2003).
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