978-0-415-19884-4 / 9780415198844

Mapping Cyberspace





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About the book:

The study of cyberspace crosses intellectual and academic boundaries, encompassing geography, cartography, sociology, studies of culture, communications, even literary theory and cognitive psychology. Researcher and computer technician Martin Dodge and geographer Rob Kitchin have put their collective experience together to produce a volume (and matching Web site: examining how visually to represent this new space in which we now spend so much of our time.

Other writers--William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and Pat Cadigan, to name but a few--have explored this subject in a speculative, fictional way, but this is largely tough, academic stuff, everything from mapping techniques to "the spatial cognition of cyberspace" with a little critical theory thrown in for bad measure.

The two started with Dodge's Web site and meant to create a coffee-table book, but found it "mutated into a book concerned solely with the spatialities and geometries of cyberspace" and then to it's present, somewhat dry form.

It shows. You can't help feeling the book would have benefited from fewer words and more pictures; the authors have obviously read Tufte's Envisioning Information but could apply his insights better. Nevertheless, it's a good introduction to an activity so challenging one source calls it "more formidable than that faced by the sea captains of the past". --Liz Bailey

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