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The use of interactive graphical maps for browsing medical/health Internet information resources.

Boulos MN - Int J Health Geogr (2003)

Bottom Line: As online information portals accumulate metadata descriptions of Web resources, it becomes necessary to develop effective ways for visualising and navigating the resultant huge metadata repositories as well as the different semantic relationships and attributes of described Web resources.Graphical maps provide a good method to visualise, understand and navigate a world that is too large and complex to be seen directly like the Web.Associative and pictorial map icons that enable instant recognition and comprehension are preferred to geometric ones and are key to successful maps for browsing medical/health Internet information resources.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Measurement and Information in Medicine, City University, London EC1V 0HB, UK. mkamel@medicad.com

ABSTRACT
As online information portals accumulate metadata descriptions of Web resources, it becomes necessary to develop effective ways for visualising and navigating the resultant huge metadata repositories as well as the different semantic relationships and attributes of described Web resources. Graphical maps provide a good method to visualise, understand and navigate a world that is too large and complex to be seen directly like the Web. Several examples of maps designed as a navigational aid for Web resources are presented in this review with an emphasis on maps of medical and health-related resources. The latter include HealthCyberMap maps http://healthcybermap.semanticweb.org/, which can be classified as conceptual information space maps, and the very abstract and geometric Visual Net maps of PubMed http://pubmed.antarcti.ca/start. Information resources can be also organised and navigated based on their geographic attributes. Some of the maps presented in this review use a Kohonen Self-Organising Map algorithm, and only HealthCyberMap uses a Geographic Information System to classify Web resource data and render the maps. Maps based on familiar metaphors taken from users' everyday life are much easier to understand. Associative and pictorial map icons that enable instant recognition and comprehension are preferred to geometric ones and are key to successful maps for browsing medical/health Internet information resources.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Screenshot of a Map.Net map. This Map.Net map  is supposed to be a regional category map of Web resources, but because it uses an ad hoc representation, some users might be lost, finding that Caribbean resources now lie between Asia and Europe, and above North America! Relative (geographic) position is not preserved in this representation for a topic that is explicitly geographical (continents/regions of the world).
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Figure 1: Screenshot of a Map.Net map. This Map.Net map is supposed to be a regional category map of Web resources, but because it uses an ad hoc representation, some users might be lost, finding that Caribbean resources now lie between Asia and Europe, and above North America! Relative (geographic) position is not preserved in this representation for a topic that is explicitly geographical (continents/regions of the world).

Mentions: Some examples of maps belonging to this group are presented below and include, Visual Net ( and – Figures 1 and 2), WebMap ( – the public InternetMap demo is no longer available – Figure 3), Kartoo ( – Figure 4) and HealthCyberMap ( – Figure 7 – [3,7]).


The use of interactive graphical maps for browsing medical/health Internet information resources.

Boulos MN - Int J Health Geogr (2003)

Screenshot of a Map.Net map. This Map.Net map  is supposed to be a regional category map of Web resources, but because it uses an ad hoc representation, some users might be lost, finding that Caribbean resources now lie between Asia and Europe, and above North America! Relative (geographic) position is not preserved in this representation for a topic that is explicitly geographical (continents/regions of the world).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC149401&req=5

Figure 1: Screenshot of a Map.Net map. This Map.Net map is supposed to be a regional category map of Web resources, but because it uses an ad hoc representation, some users might be lost, finding that Caribbean resources now lie between Asia and Europe, and above North America! Relative (geographic) position is not preserved in this representation for a topic that is explicitly geographical (continents/regions of the world).
Mentions: Some examples of maps belonging to this group are presented below and include, Visual Net ( and – Figures 1 and 2), WebMap ( – the public InternetMap demo is no longer available – Figure 3), Kartoo ( – Figure 4) and HealthCyberMap ( – Figure 7 – [3,7]).

Bottom Line: As online information portals accumulate metadata descriptions of Web resources, it becomes necessary to develop effective ways for visualising and navigating the resultant huge metadata repositories as well as the different semantic relationships and attributes of described Web resources.Graphical maps provide a good method to visualise, understand and navigate a world that is too large and complex to be seen directly like the Web.Associative and pictorial map icons that enable instant recognition and comprehension are preferred to geometric ones and are key to successful maps for browsing medical/health Internet information resources.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Measurement and Information in Medicine, City University, London EC1V 0HB, UK. mkamel@medicad.com

ABSTRACT
As online information portals accumulate metadata descriptions of Web resources, it becomes necessary to develop effective ways for visualising and navigating the resultant huge metadata repositories as well as the different semantic relationships and attributes of described Web resources. Graphical maps provide a good method to visualise, understand and navigate a world that is too large and complex to be seen directly like the Web. Several examples of maps designed as a navigational aid for Web resources are presented in this review with an emphasis on maps of medical and health-related resources. The latter include HealthCyberMap maps http://healthcybermap.semanticweb.org/, which can be classified as conceptual information space maps, and the very abstract and geometric Visual Net maps of PubMed http://pubmed.antarcti.ca/start. Information resources can be also organised and navigated based on their geographic attributes. Some of the maps presented in this review use a Kohonen Self-Organising Map algorithm, and only HealthCyberMap uses a Geographic Information System to classify Web resource data and render the maps. Maps based on familiar metaphors taken from users' everyday life are much easier to understand. Associative and pictorial map icons that enable instant recognition and comprehension are preferred to geometric ones and are key to successful maps for browsing medical/health Internet information resources.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus