Cyberspace geography visualization


This monograph is a diploma work presented for the Postgraduate Course in Computer science and Telecommunication (Nachdiplomstudium Informatik und Telekommunication / Formation Postgrade en Informatique et Télécommunication, NDIT/FPIT).

Chapter 1. "Introduction" explains the concept of cyberspace and discusses the problems of navigability in this virtual world. It also emphizes the usefulness of geographical maps.

Chapter 2. "Problem model" presents a basic model for the cyberspace, the visualization media and the mapping from one to another. The model is explained and formalized mathematically.

Chapter 3. "Solution model" proposes a method based on the self-organizing maps algorithm to transform the elements of cyberspace onto a visualization media, and provides a method to visualize the landscape of the map.

Chapter 4. "Results" presents various maps that have been constructed based on real data collected in the World-Wide Web. Basic information on the construction of the prototype is also given.

Chapter 5. "Possible enhancements" discusses possibilities for improving the actual model and its implementation. In particular, a model of scalability based on parallel computing is proposed.

Chapter 6. "Conclusion" synthesizes the work and draws overall conclusions.

To help readers with the definition of some terms used in this paper, a glossary, beginning on page 37, is provided.

To increase readability, only essential references are provided in the text. For further study, readers should refer to the annotated bibliography beginning on page 41.

I'm indebted to a large number of people who have helped greatly in completing this research. I'm very thankful for the support of Lorenz Müller and Jean-Gabriel Gander, the two supervisors, and Boi Faltings, the expert in this work. I am grateful for their interesting discussions, corrections, and suggestions to Samantha Anderson, René Bach, Nicolas Droux, Claude Fuhrer, Catherine Kuchta, Daniel Liebhart, Jennifer Milliken, Hervé Sanglard, Patricia Weitsman and Andrew Wood. Special thanks are due to my colleagues Marielle Schneider, Edgardo Amato and Wilfred Gander.

This document has been written using FrameMaker. The bibliographic references are made according to the International Standard Bibliographic Description.

Cyberspace geography visualization - 15 October 1995

Luc Girardin, The Graduate Institute of International Studies