Re: What is Information Mapping

Subject: Re: What is Information Mapping
From: Michael Fraase <mfraase -at- FARCES -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1993 18:15:51 -0600

> I need to know what Information Mapping is? (I probably should as a
> tech communicator-but don't.) And how you'd use it at work, while
> writing or whatever?

> Thanks.

> Laura Praderio
> Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
> lpraderio -at- whoi -dot- edu

Information Mapping is a concept and method of structured writing developed
by Robert Horn. "Information blocks" replace paragraphs as basic writing
units and an "information map" provides a general overview of the material.

It's based on information chunking and George Miller's short-term memory work
(the number of chunks you can hold in short-term memory is 7 plus or minus 2).

An information block is a *single* chunk containing up to seven sentences--or
a graphic or table--identified with a label. An information map is a
collection of between 2 and 9 information blocks, usually occupying a two-
page spread in a document.

My experience in reading Horn's work and trying to implement the concepts is
that I always end up feeling like something is missing. It all looks very
neat and tidy, and it *looks* like it's well presented, but it just doesn't
work for me. Some information just can't be intelligently broken down into 7
or less chunks.

By no means am I an expert, and Horn's organization runs (very expensive)
seminars throughout North America. You can contact his organization directly
for more information:

The Lexington Institute
80 Marett Road
Lexington, MA 02173

Michael Fraase, proprietor | Voice/Fax: 612/698-0741
Arts & Farces | Internet: mfraase -at- farces -dot- com
2285 Stewart Avenue |------------------------------------------
Suite 1315 | Nothing to tell, let the words be yours,
St. Paul, MN 55116 | I am done with mine. (Weir/Barlow)

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