Atlas of Cyberspace

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What does cyberspace look like?

For thousands of years, people have created maps of the world around them — cave paintings, drawings in the sand, pencil sketches, lavish manuscripts, 3D models and, more recently, satellite images and computer-generated simulations. Now, a new generation of cartographers is focusing on a different realm: cyberspace. Here for the first time is an examination and selection of their maps, gathered together into one comprehensive source: The Atlas of Cyberspace. Written in accessible style and illustrated with over 300 full colour images, The Atlas of Cyberspace catalogues thirty year's worth of maps to reveal the rich and varied landscapes of cyberspace — a world occupied by half a billion users.

The Atlas explores the new cartographic and visualization techniques being employed in the mapping of cyberspace, concentrating on the following main areas:

  • Internet infrastructure and traffic flows
  • The World Wide Web
  • Online conversation and community
  • Imagining cyberspace in art, literature and film.
Based on extensive research and written by two of the world's leading cybergeography experts, The Atlas of Cyberspace provides an unprecedented insight into the shape of the Internet and World Wide Web. For anyone with an interest in the structure, content and social dimension of the online world, this is a fascinating and invaluable resource.

Based on extensive research and written by two of the world's leading cybergeography experts, The Atlas of Cyberspace provides an unprecedented insight into the shape of the Internet and World Wide Web. For anyone with an interest in the structure, content and social dimension of the online world, this is a fascinating and invaluable resource.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
How do you map the Internet? In myriad ways, as it turns out. Collectively, they are remarkably revealing. Occasionally, they are remarkably beautiful, too. The full-color Atlas of Cyberspace brings together the most fascinating attempts to map the Net. More than any other book, this one makes the "virtual" world real enough to grab and hold onto.

Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin have discovered a remarkably wide range of approaches to visualizing the Internet. Some of these experiments succeed better than others; each has something revealing to say. There are technical maps of infrastructure and traffic: domain names mapped onto physical maps, ISP marketing maps, 3D Internet topologies. There are maps of "information spaces," including powerful visual analyses of how web sites evolve and how users move through them.

Perhaps most interesting, there are maps of "conversation and community": the patterns people create through their one-on-one interactions. For example, Marc Smith's Netscan Dashboard, which maps the social structures of Usenet at multiple scales: individual message threads, interrelationships among newsgroups, and whole chunks of Usenet space. There are maps of chat interactions -- including one that attempts to measure users' constant "oscillation" between physical and virtual worlds.

In the last chapter, Atlas of Cyberspace abandons actual measurement, showing us artists' fantastic visions of the Internet -- from seminal texts like Neuromancer and Snow Crash to "typographic sculptures" to "subversive" web tools that shred and reconstruct existing pages in strikingly new ways.

To map a work of imagination as remarkable as the Internet, you need remarkable imagination -- and that's what's on display here, on every page. (Bill Camarda)

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201745757
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 10/4/2001
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.76 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Dodge works as a computer technician and researcher in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), at University College London. He maintains the Cyber-Geography Research web site at, which includes the original online Atlas of Cyberspaces. With co-author Rob Kitchin, he also wrote the book Mapping Cyberspace (2000).

Rob Kitchin is a Lecturer in Human Geography and research associate of NIRSA at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He is the author of Cyberspace (1998) and the co-author of Mapping Cyberspace (2000). He has published three other books and is the general editor of the journal Social and Cultural Geography.

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Table of Contents

1 Mapping Cyberspace 1
Issues to consider when viewing images 3
Structure of the book 7
Concluding comment 8
2 Mapping infrastructure and traffic 9
Historical maps of telecommunications 12
Maps from the birth of the Net 17
Mapping where the wires, fiber-optic cables and satellites really are 20
Infrastructure census maps 25
Domain name maps 28
Marketing maps of Internet service providers 30
Interactive mapping of networks 33
Visualizing network topologies in abstract space 38
The geography of data flows 52
Mapping traceroutes 62
What's the Net "weather" like today? 67
Mapping cyberspace usage in temporal space 70
3 Mapping the Web 73
Information spaces of the Internet 75
The beginning of the Web 79
Mapping individual websites 80
Mapping tools to manage websites 90
Mapping website evolution 102
Mapping paths and traffic through a website 104
'The view from above': 2-D visualization and navigation of the Web 114
'The view from within': 3-D visualization and navigation of the Web 131
4 Mapping conversation and community 153
Mapping email 155
Mapping mailing lists and bulletin boards 158
Mapping Usenet 164
Mapping chat 174
Mapping MUDs 180
Mapping virtual worlds 195
Mapping game space 214
5 Imagining cyberspace 227
Science fiction visions of cyberspace 229
Cinematic visions of cyberspace 234
Artistic imaginings: subversive surfing and warping the Web 241
Imagining the architecture of cyberspace 251
6 Final thoughts 257
Further reading 261
Index 263
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It is now over 30 years since the first Internet connection was made, between nodes installed at UCLA and Stanford University in the United States. Since then, a vast network of information and communications infrastructure has encircled the globe supporting a variety of cyberspace media — email, chat, the Web, and virtual worlds. Such has been the rapid growth of these new communications methods that by the end of 2000 there were over 400 million users connected to the Internet.

Accompanying this growth in the infrastructure, the numbers of users and the available media has been the formation of a new focus for cartography: mapping cyberspace. Maps have been created for all kinds of purposes, but the principal reasons are: to document where infrastructure is located; to market services; to manage Internet resources more effectively; to aid searching, browsing and navigating on the Web; and to explore potential new interfaces to different cyberspace media. In creating these maps, cartographers have used innovative techniques that open up new ways to understand the world around us.

This is the first book to draw together the wide range of maps produced over the last 30 years or so to provide a comprehensive atlas of cyberspace and the infrastructure that supports it. Over the next 300 or so pages, more than 100 different mapping projects are detailed, accompanied by full-colour example maps and an explanation as to how they were created.

Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin
December 2000


The Atlas of Cyberspace represents five years' worth of research, collating maps and research papers, and interviewing the maps' creators. In that time, many people have helped us. We are grateful to all those who assisted us in the writing and production of the Atlas of Cyberspace, particularly those who generously allowed us to feature maps and images of their work.

Special thanks are due to the following who went out of their way to help: Paul Adams, Keith Andrews, Richard Bartle, Mike Batty, Tim Bray, Peter Burden, Stuart Card, Chaomei Chen, Bill Cheswick, Ed Chi, K Claffy, Paul Cluskey, John Cugini, Judith Donath, Steve Eick, Gunilla Elam, Ben Fry, Joe Gurman, Muki Haklay, Nigel Hayward, Andy Hudson-Smith, Young Hyun, Jon Ippolito, Charles Lee Isbell Jr, Marty Lucas, Ernest Luk, Paul Kahn, Kate McPherson and family, Carl Malamud, Jessica Marantz, Fumio Matsumoto, Tamara Munzner, Bonnie Nardi, Marcos Novak, Linda Peake, Larry Press, Henry Ritson, Greg Roelofs, Warren Sack, Peter Salus, Gareth Smith, Marc Smith, Greg Staple, Paul Torrens, Roland Vilett, Martin Wattenberg, Darren Williams, Patrick Warfolk, Matt Zook, Mary Goodwin and Catherine Seigneret (The Cable & Wireless Archives, Porthcurno Cornwall, UK). We would also like to thank the team at Pearson — Michael Strang, Sally Carter and Katherin Ekstrom — for their enthusiastic support of this project.

Whilst every effort was made to contact copyright holders of the maps and images, we apologise for any inadvertent omissions. If any acknowledgement is missing, it would be appreciated if contact could be made (care of the publisher) so that this can be rectified in any future edition.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, we can be contacted at:

Cover shows the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) image. SOHO is a mission of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.

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