Though the internet is relatively new, the methods used to study it do not necessarily need to be entirely new. Drawing from the author's experiences of doing cybergeography research, documented through the use of excerpts from a research journal, this article describes how traditional methods are adapted to understand the relationships between online and offline worlds and how people seek to use the internet to change their everyday landscapes. Research strategies include treating the study of online places as if they were material landscapes, analyzing characteristics of websites, visiting associated places, and in-person interviews with producers. The amount of qualitative data collected from sites and the time it takes to analyze this data are challenges associated with qualitative analysis of websites. Field work is still necessary in internet research. Site visits and interviews reveal details about cases that may not be visible online including infrastructures and identities. Limitations of visits and interviews include the inability to study global scale phenomena as well as ethics of anonymity and confidentiality. Triangulation among virtual landscapes, material places, and interviews helps to reveal a nuanced view of the way that the internet transforms everyday life.
Longan, Michael W., "Cybergeography IRL" (2015). Geography and Meteorology Faculty Publications. 11.