“Time–space compression (also known as space–time compression and time–space distantiation), first articulated in 1989 by geographer David Harvey in The Condition of Postmodernity, refers to any phenomenon that alters the qualities of and relationship between space and time. A similar idea was proposed by Elmar Alvater in an article in Prokla in 1987 translated into English as Ecological and Economic Modalities of Time and Space and published in Capitalism Nature Socialism, 1(3) in 1989.
Time–space compression often occurs as a result of technological innovations that condense or elide spatial and temporal distances, including technologies of communication (telegraph, telephones, fax machines, Internet), travel (rail, cars, trains, jets), and economics (the need to overcome spatial barriers, open up new markets, speed up production cycles, and reduce the turnover time of capital). According to theorists like Paul Virilio, time-space compression is an essential facet of contemporary life: “Today we are entering a space which is speed-space … This new other time is that of electronic transmission, of high-tech machines, and therefore, man is present in this sort of time, not via his physical presence, but via programming” (qtd. in Decron 71). Virilio also uses the term dromology to describe “speed-space.”