Informative modelling

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Informative modelling is an interdisciplinary methodological approach linking information technologies with architectural analysis and modelling (at various scales, from architectural elements to buildings and structures). Informative modelling aims at improving the way information and evidences about how architectural objects evolved through time can be visually displayed.

Informative modelling applies to the study of historic architecture, where objects have most often been widely transformed, and consequently where what is known about objects remains partial. As a consequence, whereas in traditional architectural modelling a realistic representation of objects is considered as an end, in the informative modelling methodology the representation of architectural objects is used primarily as support for information search and visualisation, reasoning and cognition: it does not strive for realism.

Abstraction (the infovis legacy) and figuration (the architectural representation legacy) are integrated as alternative/mixable modes of representation, allowing partial knowledge to be communicated and important notions in historic sciences such as data uncertainty to be conveyed graphically.

Informative modelling puts the data about evolutions of architectural artefacts first, and provides rules for outputting 2D/3D graphics thought to become sustainable investigation and visualization tools (knowledge and discovery tools, as J.Bertin says it), striving for the readability of a dynamic geographical map. Examples of such rules are accessibility of the underlying documentary justification (archives, research material, etc.), information credibility assessment, visual underlining of lacking information, relation to an exogenous theoretical model of architectural elements, dynamic visualisation, research process progress assessment, etc.

Informative modelling has roots in architectural modelling, Category:3D imaging, Category:3D computer graphics, Georeference, database, scientific modelling, scientific visualization, knowledge visualization, Knowledge management, information retrieval, Information science, Computer graphics, Information graphics, and intersects methods and issues stemming from these disciplines.


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  • Kienreich, W, "Information and Knowledge visualisation - An oblique view" MIA Journal vol0 num1, MAP-CNRS, July 2006, pp 7-17.
  • Tufte, E.R., "Envisioning Information",Graphic Press, Cheshire 2001
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  • Spence, R, "Information vizualisation" Addison Wesley ACM Press 2001

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