Isochronic map showing time taken to travel certain distances

Isochronic map showing time taken to travel certain distances

 Francis Galton's isochronic map 1881

Francis Galton's isochronic map 1881



time-space convergence (n)

This process concerns the changing relationship between time and space, and notably the impacts of transportation improvements on such a relationship. It is closely related to the concept of speed, which indicates how much space can be travelled over a specific amount of time.

friction of distance (n)

As the distance from a place increases, the interactions with that place decrease, usually because the time and costs involved increase with distance.


key words



  1. Read pp 322-323 Core Book
  2. Create a timeline of events that led to the world becoming smaller. Name the invention and elaborate on how it contributed to time-space convergence.
  1. Watch the video. Identify inventions and explain how they contributed to time-space convergence.

exam question

Explain what is meant by time-space convergence. (10 marks)


Mark scheme

The key idea is that of a “shrinking world” thanks to technological innovation over time. Expect some explanation of the technologies that enable this change and empirical evidence to support it (for example, time taken to circumnavigate the world etc.). This may be shown in diagrammatic form and should be credited.

Other approaches to explanation might include an analysis of the range of flows/global interactions that are enabled by different technologies (and the specific impacts they bring as aspects of the convergence, for example, cultural dilution, McDonaldization or growth of “global village”).

Good answers may recognize the uneven nature of time–space compression (not all people and places experience it to the same extent; some places have “opted-out” of globalization etc.).

At band C, answers may be descriptive of reduced times for travel (provide facts about reducing sailing times etc.) without addressing the concept of time–space convergence very explicitly, or provide a superficial account of the concept but without much real evidence to ground the explanation.

For bands D and E, answers will be focused on both dimensions of space and time (global technologies bring places/people nearer together by reducing the time taken for instantaneous interactions/flows to occur) and the explanation is well supported with examples. Band E answers may additionally show especially adroit handling of the concept or employ very good terminology.