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IB Geography: Changing space - the shrinking world: Reduced friction of distance

A guide to resources on the shrinking world for your IB geography course, compiled by your librarians.


Explain how a reduction in the friction of distance results in time/space convergence.

Definition - What is time-space convergence?

Time-space convergence is "the reduction in the time taken to travel between two places due to improvements in transportation or communication technology". 

(Source: Nagle, G. & Cooke, B., 2011. Geography: course companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.)


James May introduces the reasons why the friction of distance has reduced since 1919 when two British men first attempted to cross the Atlantic in an aeroplane.

Graham Hughes travelled around the world, visiting 201 countries, without using an aeroplane.

Watch this video and find out more about his journey here.

Map - Travel times

Introduction to globalisation and a shrinking world

The shrinking world

This diagram illustrates how the development of transport has led to a shrinking world from the horse drawn coaches and sailing ships of the 1500's to jet passenger aircraft of the 1960s onwards.

Click on the image to see a larger version...

Reference: Case, A., 2008 David Harvey's shrinking map of the world. [Online] Available at:

Definition - What is a Transnational Corporation (TNC)?

Transnational corporation (TNC) is "a firm that owns or controls productive operations in more than one country through direct foreign investment".

(Source: Nagle, G. & Cooke, B., 2011. Geography: course companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.)

In your text book...

New report and video - Fastest scheduled train

Website - Ecumene - IB Geography - Changing space: shrinking world