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Atlas of Cyberspace Hardcover – January 15, 2002

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Editorial Reviews Review

We don't normally consider maps contentious, but the Atlas of Cyberspace makes us think otherwise. Information cartographers Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin show off a wide range of possibilities in representing the vast realms of data existing on and supporting the Internet. Since so many of these models were created to display never-before-charted territories, the book is largely devoted to analyzing their accuracy, ease of development and use, potential for abuse, and other qualities.

Chapters cover infrastructural elements, the Web, communities, and creative renderings of cyberspace, and contain both compelling images and thought-provoking texts. Though it ends up feeling more like a catalog of visual display methods than a reference book detailing virtual geography, its examples still inform and startle the viewer with unexpected transformations of data into understanding, and, occasionally, art. --Rob Lightner


"The Atlas of Cyberspace explores a remarkable universe of visual representations of the Internet's diversity, structure and content." --Vint Cerf, Chairman, ICANN


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson Education; 1st edition (January 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201745755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201745757
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,701,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bob Carpenter on July 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "The Atlas of Cyberspace", I was anticipating a book patterned on Tufte's "Visual Display of Quantitative Information". Indeed, much of the graphical content of Dodge and Kitchin's book is beautiful, thought-provoking and informative. Unfortunately, the printing is unforgivably bad; the images deserve high quality renderings. Several of the most intriguing hand-drawn and computer-generated images are simply illegible; all of them have lost their textural presence and contrast.
The text, on the other hand, ranges from workmanlike commentary on the graphics to watered down post modern cultural analysis. Light editing could remove at least half of the illustrations, providing a tighter focus on the remainder. In many cases, multiple instances of the same type of diagram are presented. Although this may be a start toward serious design analyses, it's distracting in a coffee table book such as this one.
The organization is by content rather than by visualization type. The first quarter of the book traces the history of the development of the web, and attempts to map traffic patterns and growth. The next section concentrates on the informational organization of the web, as opposed to the physical or topological. The third quarter maps "community", including more literal instances such as MUDs, as well as purely virtual ones such as discussion groups. The weakest section of the book is the last, which traces "cyberpunk", represented here with quotes from Gibson and Stephenson. This final section includes gratuituous screen shots from "The Matrix" and even more gratuitous "analysis".
Despite this book's many shortcomings, there's no alternative, and the fraction of the images that are truly inspiring make "Atlas of Cyberspace" not only worthwhile, but almost necessary.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ellis Godard on December 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was all I expected and more. Over 100 ways of presenting data about the Internet, including fantastic advances in data collection AND analysis AND presentation. Beauty arises from every page. You may need to have a love for mathematics, statistics, the Internet, or just art to "get" this book - but I have a soft spot for all four of those, and fell head over heels.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many books that discuss various aspects of cyberspace, but this one tops them all. Dated yes, but it will give the reader a very balanced look in an interesting fashion. Strongly recommended.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I feel that this book is quite simple and colourful, mostly are graphics with some paragraphs next to it. This book has a lot of interesting graphics, which I do not mind since it is an ATLAS. I will recommend this book for those people who is looking for some enjoyable reading. Since it has a very colourful pictures in every pages and the content is not too technical, I finished reading this book in half a day.
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