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Exposing the ‘Second Text’ of Maps of the Net
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Exposing the ‘Second Text’ of Maps of the Net

Author: Martin Dodge Affiliation: Researcher and part-time Ph.D. student at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London. His background is in social geography and geographical information systems. His Ph.D. research is on the geographical analysis of the Internet and mapping cyberspace. He maintains the Atlas of Cyberspaces Web site at http://www.cybergeography.org/atlas/.; Rob Kitchin Affiliation: Lecturer in Human Geography at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. His research interests centre on the geographies of cyberspace, geographies of disability, and cognitive understandings of space. He is the editor of the journal Social and Cultural Geography, and author of Cyberspace: the World in the Wires (John Wiley, 1998) and with Martin Dodge, Mapping Cyberspace (Routledge, in press).
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, v5 n4 (June 2000): 0
  Peer-reviewed
Summary:
Maps have long been recognized as important and powerful modes of visual communication. In this paper we examine critically maps which are being produced to represent and promote information and communication technologies and the use of cyberspace. Drawing on the approach of map deconstruction we attempt to read and expose the ‘second text’ of maps of the Net. As such, we examine in detail a number of maps that  Read more...
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Martin Dodge Affiliation: Researcher and part-time Ph.D. student at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London. His background is in social geography and geographical information systems. His Ph.D. research is on the geographical analysis of the Internet and mapping cyberspace. He maintains the Atlas of Cyberspaces Web site at http://www.cybergeography.org/atlas/.; Rob Kitchin Affiliation: Lecturer in Human Geography at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. His research interests centre on the geographies of cyberspace, geographies of disability, and cognitive understandings of space. He is the editor of the journal Social and Cultural Geography, and author of Cyberspace: the World in the Wires (John Wiley, 1998) and with Martin Dodge, Mapping Cyberspace (Routledge, in press).
ISSN:1083-6101
DOI: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2000.tb00350.x
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5154114253
Notes: Number of Figures: 12
Number of References: 72
Awards:

Abstract:

Maps have long been recognized as important and powerful modes of visual communication. In this paper we examine critically maps which are being produced to represent and promote information and communication technologies and the use of cyberspace. Drawing on the approach of map deconstruction we attempt to read and expose the ‘second text’ of maps of the Net. As such, we examine in detail a number of maps that display, with varying degrees of subtlety, the ideological agendas of cyberboosterism and techno-utopianism of their creators. A critical reading of these maps is important because they are widely reproduced and consumed on the Internet, in business and governmental reports, and in the popular press, all too often without a detailed consideration of the deliberate and intended messages being communicated. As we illustrate, many of these maps not only promote certain ideological messages but are often also poor in terms of cartographic design, with many containing serious ecological fallacies. We restrict our analyses to maps at the global scale.
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