Computing increasingly happens somewhere, with that geographic location being relevant to the computational process itself. This book is concerned with computing with information about dynamic geographic phenomena at the same time as computing in geographic space.
Computing simultaneously in and about geographic space is a challenge for traditional models of spatial computation. Conventional approaches to spatial computing are founded on the assumption that spatial information is stored, collated, and processed in large information repositories, like GIS or spatial databases. The location of an information repository is irrelevant to the information stored in that repository, or the processing tasks performed by it.
By contrast, the idea behind “computing somewhere” is to examine the effects of retracting this assumption. When information about geographic space is distributed throughout geographic space (as opposed to a virtual, communications network space), building and maintaining centralized spatial information repositories quickly becomes impractical or undesirable.
In short, “computing somewhere” is concerned with situations where there are spatial constraints both to the generation and the movement of information.