Formalizing semantic spaces for information access

  • Fabrikant S
  • Buttenfield B
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Abstract

An exponentially growing volume of digital information makes extraction of relevant items increasingly difficult. This articled ocumentst he adoptiono f informationv isualizationt ools by researcherisn the disciplineso f geography, computer science, and information science to facilitate exploration of very large data archives. Graphic depiction of databasec ontent (or the database" semantics"c)a n be basedo n a spatialo r even a geographicm etaphor.S uch depictions, often called informations paces or informationw orlds,p rovide one example of "spatialization.V" arious formso f spatializedv iews are critiquedi n this article. To date, systematica pproachest o the creation of spatialized views have lacked solid theoretical foundations. Three spatial frames of reference are presented to formalize and visualizes emantics patializedv iews:g eographics pace,c ognitive space, and Benediktines pace.A pplication to an example of a very largeo nline catalog (GEOREF)h ighlightst he underlyinga ssumptionso f the space types and demonstrates what spatial propertiesa re preservedf or each proposed approach.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Information retrieval
  • Semantic information spaces
  • Spatial metaphors
  • Spatialization
  • Visualization

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