Thursday, 15 August 2013

Mapping in physical and cyberspace.

Image 1753859 Global- Computer-Networks

Maps are our visual guides that allow us to navigate through our surroundings. They Shape our understanding of space, place and power. (Petray, 2013). These maps have traditionally been representations of the physical world however with the increasing transition to the virtual landscape maps now allow us to navigate through the new virtual environment.

The virtual network chosen for this assessment is MacRumors Forums. I joined this forum in order to connect with other users of Apple computer products to extend my basic knowledge of how to use these products when i recently replaced my Microsoft Windows based old laptop. The design of the site allows for easy navigation to the area of interest for the user from a person with beginner knowledge to those who are able to contribute to the design and development of both hardware and software.

The initial experience of navigating this forum was enjoyable as more experienced contributors were able to give direction on how to solve technical issues. With more investigation of the site I found some contributors gave direction to additional sites, which contained more specific information such as The sites have moderators who are able to see all the contributors along with their contributions but are not seen. This is similar to the proposition of the prison guard who may observe all as proposed by Bentham in the article by Turkle (1995).

The large number of links which may be followed, is a reflection of the ideas proposed in the article by Barnes (1997) who proposed that the user will need to develop a mental map in order to navigate the almost endless hyperlinks which are available to follow.

The convergence of the physical world and the virtual network takes place using the computer to search through the cyber network in order in order to use the knowledge gained to make the best use of the computer in the physical world for continued study of numerous topics therefore increasing our understanding of the concepts of space, place and power.


Barnes, G. (1997). Passage of the Cyber - Flanuer. Retrieved from:

Petray, T. (2013).  BA1102: Our Space: Networks, Narratives, and the Making of Place, week 3 notes.
             [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

Turkle, S. (1995). Life On The Screen Identity in the Age of the Internet. Retrieved from:

Image credits

  173859 Global-Computer-Networks [Image] (2013).  Retrieved from :

1 comment:

  1. Hi David,

    Interesting that the moderators are sort of invisible. Do they have a badge under their name, so that when they do post you know they have some power? I have seen this on other boards. Do you think that labelling them as a moderator is good because it increases transparency, or is it a means of gaining status within the boards, or making sure that all users know the moderators are everywhere and thus internalise the surveillance?