Thesis 3: Build virtual neighborhoods of knowledge!

The metaphor of a desktop does not suffice the needs created in knowledge environments. What we need is a “natural” look and feel. Just like the Friend of a Friend (FOAF) project [1] and Jo Walsh’s collaborative mapping project [2] suggest: we need to build neighborhoods of knowledge. Very appealing are maps of our minds and thoughts which are at best closely related to the “real” world we live in, because there we could relate information to geographical locations we know very well. The location itself serves as the two or maybe three dimensional context that the information is related to or derives its meaning from.

Why is geographical mapping of knowledge so appealing? Because the development of an indivduals knowledge has very much been influenced by its culture and its physical surroundings. Thus, virtual neighbourhoods of knowledge resemble this evolution and conform to our everyday experience of geographic environments, but also decouple communication from the physical location of the human being sharing his knowledge.

[1] http://rdfweb.org/foaf/
[2] http://space.frot.org/

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