3. Artificial Reality

  1. Daniel Dorling

Published Online: 5 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118353929.ch3

The Visualization of Spatial Social Structure

The Visualization of Spatial Social Structure

How to Cite

Dorling, D. (2012) Artificial Reality, in The Visualization of Spatial Social Structure, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118353929.ch3

Author Information

  1. Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 JUL 2012
  2. Published Print: 3 AUG 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119962939

Online ISBN: 9781118353929



  • abstract spaces;
  • area cartograms;
  • artificial reality;
  • imagining reality;
  • population space;
  • stretching spacetime


Artificial reality is a manufactured version of the original, created through imaginative skill to show more about reality than is directly visible. Transforming reality is an ancient occupation. Artificial realities are created partly through necessity, but mainly to expedite understanding. This chapter talks about abstract spaces and area cartograms. Area cartograms are drawn so that the areas representing places on the paper or screen are in proportion to a specific aspect of those places. Population cartograms give another shape to the world. Cartograms are normally made by slowly stretching some parts while squashing others, until the places’ sizes are in proportion to their populations, instead of being in proportion to their land area. The very shape and layout of the cartogram is of interest even before we begin to use it to depict other information. The population cartogram tells us a lot about the human geography of places.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms