- 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 (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,528,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Atlas of Cyberspace Hardcover – January 15, 2002
The Amazon Book Review
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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
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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.