||This article may contain improper references to self-published sources. (June 2009)|
Information Mapping is a research-based method used to analyze, organize and present information based on your audience’s needs and the purpose of the information. The method is technology, subject-matter and media independent.
Robert Horn and his colleagues identified dozens of common documentation types, then analyzed them into structural components called "information blocks". They identified over 200 common block types. These were assembled into "information types".
According to Horn and his colleagues, the seven most common information types are:
- Procedure: A set of sequential steps to complete a task.
- Process: An arrangement of tasks among disparate groups explaining how the groups interact. The description of a process explains what happens during different stages of time.
- Principle: The underlying premises and rules of function giving rise to any number of techniques. These elements remain consistent, no matter what is happening.
- Concept: Notions, ideas, thoughts, or opinions of a topic. Simple definitions are considered Concepts.
- Fact: A bit of information that is true and that can be observed.
- Structure: Something which can be divided into parts which have boundaries. Explains the component parts of a structure or item and how they interact.
- Classification: The grouping of like items together and separating them from unlike items.
The Information Mapping goal is measurable results that change the way people present information.
Horn's research-based, structured authoring methodology forms the foundation of all of his company's (Information Mapping, Inc.) services: content development and management tools, professional services, and training. Institutions such as the University of Maryland's Human Computer Interaction (HCI) program and organizations such as the Parsons Institute for Information Mapping™ have extended this methodology to include greater graphic design, visualization, technology, and knowledge management capabilities into the process of mapping information.
Information Mapping has close ties to information visualization, information architecture, graphic design, information design, and data analysis. The field has responded to advances in Information Technology to also closely tie into user experience design, graphic user interface design, and knowledge management systems.
- Robert E. Horn. Mapping Hypertext: The Analysis, Organization, and Display of Knowledge for the Next Generation of On-Line Text and Graphics. ISBN 0-9625565-0-5
- Robert E. Horn. How High Can it Fly? Examining the Evidence on Information Mapping's Method of High-Performance Communication. Note: This publication is available for download on Horn's website