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Physical Geography and Facebook

June 2012

Why are global media TNCs locating in cold environments?

This is a synoptic case study that brings together glaciation and globalisation, along with energy and rebranding! Facebook - a media TNC which is driving social and cultural globalisation - has chosen a cold environment in Luleå, Sweden, as the site for its newest data storage facility (called a "server farm"). Google also has its own cold climate data centre in Greenland.

This article explores how glaciated landscapes provide a range of opportunities, including hydro-electric power, that are increasingly exploited by media TNCs with enormous energy and data storage needs. We also take a look at how the business community in Luleå has sought to rebrand the town as a global technology network hub.


This article supports GCSE and A-level teaching of cold (extreme) environments, globalisation (global networks, global interactions), energy (hydro-electric power and its advantages) and rebranding (for the Edexcel AS-level course).

In the Members's Area:

  • The geography of Facebook, a global media corporation
  • What factors attracted Facebook to Luleå in Sweden?
  • References

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