Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Mapping Information - Beyond Search Engines

I am so impressed with Professor Katy Börner, at Indiana University School of School of Library and Information Science, Adjunct Associate Professor of Informatics, Core Faculty of Cognitive Science, and Research Affiliate of the Biocomplexity Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington!

I linked above to a simple website she maintains at I.U. But you probably want to visit first this interview from Inf@Vis!, a digital magazine at link. Here is a neat summary of her recent work,

analysis and visualization of user activity data, the mapping of knowledge domains, and the design of cyberinfrastructures. One of her latest works is Places and Spaces, a science exhibit created to demonstrate the power of maps for the navigation of physical places and semantic spaces.

The interview includes a terrific list of linksites, including a number to very scholarly PDF articles by Prof. Börner. Basically, she sees the web flooding our brains with so much data that we can't handle it all. Search engines can locate things, but they don't do anything to help us form the huge amounts of stuff they find into patterns that we can begin to comprehend and manage. She wants to build tools to help us make conceptual or semantic maps that we can overlay onto the search engine findings.

Take time to look at her stuff. And if you are near NYC, you can see her exhibit at the NYPL Science, Business and Industry Library link, Places and Spaces. It runs from April 3 - Aug. 31, 2006. The website explains:

The Places & Spaces exhibit has been created to demonstrate the power of maps. An initial theme of this exhibit is to compare and contrast first maps of our entire planet with the first maps of all of science as we know it.

You can also click on a link to hear a radio interview with Katy Börner. Cool

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