Re: Information Mapping

Subject: Re: Information Mapping
From: Len Olszewski <saslpo -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1993 09:53:37 -0500

Chet Cady writes about information mapping:

> There =are= no objective opinions about InfoMapping that I've found.
> People either love it or loathe it, and the best they can do is couch
> their opinions in objective-sounding terms.

Oh, I dunno. I guess that depends on whether you view information
mapping as another set of presentation techniques or as a general
philosphical approach to communication. I get a little antsy when people
talk about any particular philosophy as an all-or-nothing proposition,
but if I think about info mapping in a non-religious way, I can see some
useful insights and techniques.

Generally, info mapping places different kinds of information into
various categories, and suggests that certain expository methods are
best suited for each category of information. You've got to buy into the
philosophy to a certain extent if you use any of the IM presentation
techniques, just for internal consistency. However, incomplete or
inconsistent application of the principles *can* result in choppy
looking text, as Chet points out.

My personal opinion is that a full IM implementation can decrease a
document's "scannability", by (potentially) overwhelming the scanner
with the sheer volume of entry points. You can explain this, I suppose,
by saying that not *all* documents lend themselves well to the IM
concept. Others may argue that in such cases, the implementation is at
fault rather than the underlying theory. I see the IM system as a good
template for organizing information, though not the only one, to be sure.

However, I'm just an IM dilettante, so accept my opinions as those of a

|Len Olszewski, Technical Writer |"Gee, Mr. Peabody..." |
|saslpo -at- unx -dot- sas -dot- com|Cary, NC, USA| -Sherman |
| Opinions this ludicrous are mine. Reasonable opinions will cost you.|

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