Surveying the Information Space Mapping Terrain

Following Monday’s blog post, I spent some time reviewing the websites that I linked to and exploring a little more. I was a bit disappointed with what I found exploring the Cybercartography thread. It seems to be very closely tied to real world geography, which is all well and good, but not what I’m looking for.

The Atlas of Cyberspace has some examples that seem to more closely match the kind of thing that’s intriguing me. Particular examples include the “ET-Map” – a multi-level category map of the information space of over 100,000 entertainment related Web pages listed by Yahoo!, Kartoo, and WebMap.

What these have in common is that they map, or maybe chart is a better term, non-geographic things, relationships of data and information. (I’m beginning to think that map is probably the wrong term to use with this concept, since the term map is so closely tied to representations of geographic space like the earth, moon or sky).

If you’re having trouble understanding what the hell I’m rambling on about and trying to discover, well, so am I. But, my wife sent me a link to an article that’s maybe the best example so far of the type of visual depiction of information that’s intriguing me and that I’m trying to find examples of.

On the Boxes and Arrows website there’s an article titled, “A Map-based Approach to Content Inventory,” by Patrick Walsh. Patrick needed to visually depict the content of his Intranet. Understanding the content and relationships between content was getting unwieldy. A perfect opportunity for a visual thinking graphic. What Patrick came up with was a map-based representation of his Intranet. The map is based on subway style maps showing nodes and connections. Aha! It’s mapping and it’s mapping an information space. There’s really no geography associated with it. It’s just information. So, if you’re at all interested in this thing I’m calling mapping information space, check out this article. If you’ve seen any examples similar to this, it would be great to get some feedback. Just post a comment to this blog.

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  1. http://www.PolyCola.com Search Engine: Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask, AOL, Dogpile, Altavista…