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In Pursuit of Digital Inclusion Interventions: Exploring the Utility of Mapping Intra- and Intercity Digital Divides

Mon, May 29, 8:00 to 9:15, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo Ballroom A

Abstract

This paper examines the utility of a novel triangulation of theoretical and methodological approaches, in an effort to further the theorization of digital inclusion – and inform digital inclusion interventions and policies globally. More specifically, similar to the process undertaken by researchers in London, it introduces a framework whereby the digital disparities within the city of Los Angeles, CA, were illustrated through various data visualization and geographic information systems (GIS) techniques. These maps and illustrations of public open-access data were then utilized to investigate community-level factors to Internet access and benefits of Internet usage. While previous academic literature has centered on individual-, city-, and country-level differences in examining first-level digital divides, the proposed framework opens up the potential for more nuanced and disaggregated understandings of the ways in which digital inequalities manifest within a city, and are influenced by neighborhood-level variables. Furthermore, the introduction of a replicable and cost-efficient methodological and analytical procedure will bolster and advance comparative inter-city research of digital inequalities, generating a more thorough (local and global) understanding of these issues. With such knowledge, this framework and procedure will lead to invaluable insights for future digital inclusion policymaking and intervention design, especially at the local level.

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