4.3 – Human & physical influences on global interactions

Political factors – The influence of Governments & multi-governmental organizations (eg WTO, IMF & World Bank)

The Shrinking World – Time–space convergence and the reduction in the friction of distance

  • Explain how a reduction in the friction of distance results in time–space convergence.
  • Examine the relative changes in the speed and capacity of two types of transport (air, ocean, road, rail, pipeline) responsible for the flow of goods, materials and people.

What is space and why does it matter? Listen to Doreen Massey.

How easy is it for people to move freely around the world? Check globalpassportindex.org

Is the world shrinking? Watch the excerpt from James May’s Honey, I shrunk the world


Produce a timeline for the development of aviation. Your timeline should include at least the following:

first powered flight | first commercial flight across the Atlantic | first ’round the world’ commercial flight | first ’round the world’ non-stop flight | Zeppelins | first commercial passenger jet | de Havilland Comet | Concorde | Boeing 747 | Airbus A380 | dates for these events | durations for this events.

Change in speed and capacity of ocean transport – passenger and freight

Realtime map of global shipping

The Guardian – How do you keep bananas fresh?

Produce a timeline for the development of ocean transport – thinking about both passengers and cargo/freight. Your timeline should include at least the following:

first crossing of the Atlantic| first ‘commercial’ crossing of the Atlantic | first use of ‘containers’ (intermodal freight transport using standard intermodal containers) | The Blue Riband | the largest bulk carrier | the largest container carrier | the first ‘cruise’ ship | the largest cruise ship

Describe the trend in global cargo flows. Describe the patterns of global ocean transport flows. Can you identify any ‘routes’ and ‘hubs’? Use these links:

Global ship density map

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b) Extension and density of networks

  • Examine the changes in a transport, internet or telecommunications network in terms of the extension of links and nodes and the intensity of use at a national or global scale.
  • Describe the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in civil society and the transmission and flow of images, ideas, information and finance.
  • Examine the contrasting rates, levels and patterns of adoption of an element of ICT in two countries.

Changes in China’s rail network

China’s early rail network

China’s rail network in 1961

China major rail lines 2014

Use this link to discover how China’s rail network has developed since the first commercial line in 1876

Use this link for info about the growth of high speed rail in China.


ICT Networks – The Internet

Global Internet adoption figures

UK mobile phone coverage (Vodafone)

Kenya mobile phone coverage (Safaricom)

M-Pesa – The role of ICT in civil society (Kenya) from the BBC (Feb 2017)

Is it a phone, is it a bank? | The Economist

The Economist explains: Why does Kenya lead the world in mobile money? | The Economist

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