W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > February 2001

Fwd: +A Pageless Way to Find Content

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 15:38:56 -0500
Message-Id: <200102212022.PAA3712063@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: wai-xtech@w3.org
This is an example of a sort of tool that might help us with our vocabulary
work.

Al


>
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> Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 11:53:03 -0600 
> To: roadcrew@trace.wisc.edu 
> From: Nancy Gores 
> Subject: +A Pageless Way to Find Content 
>
> The Gist Canas heads a team that took a learning tool called concept
mapping,
> developed with paper and pencil in the 1970s, and turned it into a pageless
> method of browsing Web sites. 
> It will not replace Web browsers, but any existing browser can be used to
> view concept map, or Cmap, sites, Canas said. A Cmap is just what the name
> implies -- a graphic representation of a subject that shows how it is linked
> to related topics and subtopics. 
>
> A Pageless Way to Find Content 
> Associated Press 
> 12:35 p.m. Feb. 20, 2001 PST 
> PENSACOLA, Florida -- Ever since Johann Gutenberg invented the printing
press
> nearly six centuries ago, people have been organizing information page by
> page. Even in the computer age, they still are doing it on Web pages. 
> That perplexed researchers at the University of West Florida's Institute for
> Human and Machine Cognition, which works to make computers more useful and
> user-friendly. 
> "Why should we organize it as pages? There's no reason," said associate
> director Alberto Canas. "It's just that we're used to it." 
> See also: 
> Old Town Taught New Tricks
> The Future: Read All About It
> Infostructure strengthens your backbone
> Learn more in Making the Grade
> Canas heads a team that took a learning tool called concept mapping,
> developed with paper and pencil in the 1970s, and turned it into a pageless
> method of browsing Web sites. 
> It will not replace Web browsers, but any existing browser can be used to
> view concept map, or Cmap, sites, Canas said. 
> "If you can do something about helping humans better exploit the sort of
> information ghetto on the Web, you've got lots of customers," said institute
> director Ken Ford. "They all know that their browser's no good because when
> you ask them which button they click most, they all say the back arrow." 
> The patented software is written in the Java computer language and runs on a
> variety of operating systems including Windows, Mac and variations of Unix. 
> Government agencies, schools, students and others using the software for
> nonprofit purposes can download it free from the institute's website. 
> The software is not yet available for commercial use, though the
institute is
> considering licensing it and has been approached by private companies. 
> One of them is Cincinnati-based Cincom Inc., which is seeking licensing
> rights for software it designs for manufacturers. 
> "We have looked at everything we can find that is similar, or designed for
> the purpose of knowledge management, and we find concept mapping to be
> light-years ahead," said Barry Brosch, a senior consultant with Cincom. 
> A Cmap is just what the name implies -- a graphic representation of a
subject
> that shows how it is linked to related topics and subtopics. 
> Geoffrey Briggs, director of the Center for Mars Exploration at NASA's Ames
> Research Center in California, is among the first users. He created a Mars
> concept map on the Net. 
> "Mars" appears in a red box at the top with lines connecting it to related
> concepts including "Search for Evidence of Life," "Exploration Strategy,"
and
> even "Science Fiction." Clicking on concept box icons can open additional
> maps or provide links to appropriate websites. 
> "That's a powerful means, from my perspective, of communicating information
> and giving people an immediate grasp of the subject," Briggs said. 
> He also wants to use Cmaps to brainstorm the selection of Mars landing
sites.
> Scientists each could do a concept map on a preferred site and then discuss,
> compare and criticize each other's ideas by computer. 
> The software was developed as part of a broader $6 million federally funded
> project that includes the creation of related tools for NASA and the Navy,
> which plans to use concept maps for on-the-job training aboard ships. 
> The software also has advanced the original purpose of Cmaps, said Joseph
> Novak, who developed the idea about 25 years ago while at Cornell
University,
> where he is a professor emeritus of education and biology. 
> It has been used to help education researchers present large amounts of data
> in a concise and cogent way, and for course planning and knowledge-sharing.
> It is also used to assess students, by having them build Cmaps. 
> Other concept-mapping software is available commercially, including
> Inspiration by Inspiration Software Inc., Decision Explorer by Banaxia
> Software Ltd., MindManager by Mindjet and VisiMap by CoCo Systems Ltd. 
> The institute's version has the advantage of being free for nonprofit uses,
> schools all over globe have used it, and its features include a method for
> easy access to other Web sources, said Novak, a senior research scientist at
> West Florida. 
> "All the fundamental assumptions that underlie concept-mapping have been
> embedded in the ways in which the software works," Novak said. "It
> facilitates building them the way they ought to be built." 
>
> Nancy Gores
> gores@trace.wisc.edu
>
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Received on Wednesday, 21 February 2001 15:22:48 UTC

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