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Title:Analogous spaces: An introduction to spatial metaphors for the organization of knowledge
Author(s):Van Acker, Wouter; Uyttenhove, Pieter
Subject(s):Information and Space
Spatial Analogies
Spatial Metaphors
Knowledge Organization
Abstract:Spatial metaphors abound in the language we use to speak about the organization of information. Well-established notions such as “architecture of databases,” “knowledge architect,” or “information design” convey their meaning by drawing analogies between the organization of information and the organization of space. The notion “architecture of databases,” for example, relies on the idea that a database provides us, like a building, multiple spaces where we can position different objects that we can exploit for different functions. Just as a building is a fixed construction, the interior of which can be furnished and refurbished time and again, we can add or remove objects of knowledge or data in the categories of a database. A “knowledge architect” is another example. Through metaphor, this notion defines the job of someone who, like an architect, combines technical and artistic skills and who is able to coordinate the overall construction process; not for the purpose of constructing a building but for constructing tools to manage flows of knowledge or relevant information that is meant to remain in place (Tonfoni, 1998). “Information design” is a third example. It underscores metaphorically the idea that the development of an information system involves, as is the case in design, a complex process of planning before actual construction can occur.
Issue Date:2012
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:In Library Trends 61 (2) Fall 2012: 259-270.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-31

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