Mapping Cyberspace

Mapping Cyberspace

Mapping Cyberspace

Mapping Cyberspace


What does cyberspace look like? Can people make places in virtual spaces?

Space is central to our lives. Because of this, much attention is directed at understanding and explaining the geographic world. Mapping Cyberspace is a groundbreaking book, which extends this analysis to provide a geographic exploration and critical reading of cyberspace and information and communication technologies.

Drawing together the findings and theories of researchers from geography, cartography, sociology, cultural studies, computer-mediated-communications, information visualization, literary theory and cognitive psychology this volume charts the spatial form of virtual spaces. Mapping Cyberspace will be a valuable addition to the growing body of literature on cyberspace and what it means in the future.


Space is an essential framework of all modes of thought. From physics to aesthetics, from myth and magic to common everyday life, space, in conjunction with time, provides a fundamental ordering system for interlacing every facet of thought…. In short, things occur or exist in relation to space and time.

(Sack 1980:4)

Space is central to our lives. We live and interact in space. Our lives are rooted and given context by the places we live in, the communities we inhabit, our sites of home, work and leisure, and are shaped by complex socio-spatial processes that operate across many scales, from local to global. In turn, spaces are produced and given meaning through social practices creating places. People's daily lives consist of a myriad of spatial behaviours, relationships and movements across and within spaces. From crawling across a playroom, to running around a school yard, to driving to work, to flying great distances for business meetings or a holiday, our daily lives involve hundreds of complex spatial choices and decisions that have to be successfully negotiated - choices and decisions that are sociospatially situated, and influenced by cultural, economic and political forces. Moreover, the world is geographically demarcated. The surface of the planet is divided into territories at varying scales, from the home to cities to the national and beyond - spaces that are planned, regulated and governed. It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that considerable attention has been directed at mapping, understanding and explaining the geographic world over the past millennium.

At the beginning of the new millennium, information and communication technologies (ICTs) are reconfiguring space-time relations, radically restructuring the materiality and spatiality of space and the relationship between people and place. Moreover, the conceptual space they support, cyberspace, is extending social interaction through the provision of new media that are increasingly reliant on spatial metaphors to enhance their operation. The combined power of ICTs and cyberspace is changing the way we live our lives, in the same way that the telephone, car and television did in the twentieth century. Moreover, these technological changes affect us regardless of whether we actively use them or ever want to use them simply due to the fact that they are employed by multinational corporations and the institutions which structure daily living. Given the massive projected growth in users of new technologies and online services, and the seemingly constant flow of innovations, it seems certain that the combination of ICTs and cyberspace will become one of the most significant evolutionary developments of the twenty-first century.

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