The movement toward Open Data and the increasing adoption of computational techniques by many scientific fields is leading to the creation of several on-line knowledge spaces. Be it the list of courses provided by a university or the collection of a library, these knowledge spaces are very diverse in nature and content. They however all have in common that decision making now implies taking grasp of the information they contain.
This workshop was an opportunity to bring together a project focusing on making sense out of knowledge spaces (KNOWeSCAPE) and another focusing more on the production and curation of such spaces (LinkedUp). With 15 participants in total, the program featured the presentation of some knowledge spaces and related visualizations by Andréas Perret, Stefan Dietze (slides), Victor de Boer (slides). Benjamin Zapilko, Thomas Hüsing and Sarven Capadisli explained how Linked Data technologies can be put into use to produce connected knowledge spaces that are then easier to explore.
The hands-on/hacking session took the form of a paper-based brainstorm: Andrea Scharnhorst invited the participants to think around tools to visualize and explore knowledge spaces. The approach followed the idea of personas. The task was defined as follows: Imagine a real user! Imagine a situation in which this imagined person would be in desperate need for a map! How would this map look like? Describe features, form&feel, and materiality (e.g., paper, mobile device, web). Two type of persons were proposed: a normal user and a head of an organization or institution (manager). The participants were invited to write down their ideas, or draw sketches. At the end the ideas were presented in the group. This exercise lead to the creation of very different ideas covering social activities during a conference, funding acquisition and career planning. All these maps will be documented at the KnowEscape website soon and further worked upon as part of the activities of KNOWeSCAPE and during further upcoming events.
(to be published in The 2013 Open Reader (OKCon 2013))
Picture: Courtesy of Thomas Huesing. Sketch of a knowledge map idea: Knowledge Agent of designed by Thomas Huesing