Draft!! What kinds of semantic web tools can information architects use to make it easier for search engines to match specific queries with the most relevant information? Tools developed in Library Sciences (and now Information Studies) such as taxonomies, faceted classification and thesauri enhance search results. Information Studies with a focus on marketing do not attempt to help users link to the most relevant information in response to their queries as much as they want to advertise their products and services. A higher Google ranking means greater findability and more potential clients but cannot ever ensure robust truth claims or the most efficient research avenue on the subject under investigation. Behaviour-based taxonomy (BBT) architectures attempt to direct more traffic to their sites which could, if used unethically, simply translate into claiming more tags and categories than are justified. 

Advances in technology make it easier for Information Architects to monitor traffic on sites and collect detailed statistics on queries and hits (page views, etc). Behaviour-based taxonomy (BBT) uses data on visitors/users/clients’ queries to revisit, redefine and refine taxonomies: categories, tags, metatags, etc. If I understand it correctly behaviour-based taxonomy (BBT) could be developed by reclassifying objects in different hierarchies within traditional subject and content-based taxonomies, using faceted categories effectively when classical taxonomy is not sufficient and being aware of other common terms that describe the object (thesauri).

Again if I am correctly understanding behaviour-based taxonomy it could also be a behaviour-based folksonomy, in which an ordinary blogger, like myself, could monitor wordpress dashboard data on visitors queries to develop categories and tags.

Faceted categories: Although the concept of the faceted categories system was first introduced by S.R. Ranganathan in 1933 in his publication Colon Classification, this simple but highly-efficient tool from the Library Sciences and Library and Information Studies (LIS), is proving to be highly effective in Web 2.0 applications such as del.icio.us social bookmarking and wordpress blogs. The popularity of facet categories has increased. Library and Information Studies S.R. Ranganathan faceted universal classification system used only five faceted categories (PMEST): Personality (the something in question, e.g. a person or event in a classification of history, or an animal in a classification of zoology), Matter (what something is made of), Energy (how something changes, is processed, evolves), Space (where something is), Time (when it happens). These have also become the classic who, what, how, where, when.

Dalhousie University’s School of Library and Information Studies professor Louise Spiteri’s article (1998-04)  hosted on the Information Architecture Institute’s site, simplifies Ranganathan’s system and explained developments in the use of faceted categories through the establishment in 1952 of the British Classification Research Group (CRG) to expand on and modify Ranganathan’s facet analysis in response to the limitations of traditional enumerative classification systems when confronted with compound subjects. British Classification Research Group (CRG) studies facet analysis, relational operators and the theory of Integrative Levels (Spiteri 1995). Spiteri explored how the CRG’s bottom-up approach provided a useful alternative to the traditional top-down approach to classification. In the top-down approach predetermined areas of knowledge are broken down into their constituent elements. The bottom-up approach pieces together individual elements and then determines the areas of knowledge they form using the theory of integrative levels.

Faceted categories are based on emergent phenomena whose behaviour cannot be predicted from their constituent parts versus resultant phenomena whose behaviour can be predicted from their constituent parts.

Emergence has been used as a concept/metaphor in philosophy of the mind studies to illustrate why mechanistic calculations of brain architecture as used in cognitive science are inadequate. Michael Polanyi has found emergence to be a potent concept in the the study of knowledge itself helping to explain why we know what we know, how we build new ideas when our knowledge becomes tacit (Polanyi 1966). See Tennis “ (2004). Polanyi (1967: 4) explored processes inherent in connoisseurship/discovery of new models and theories versus Popper’s validation/refutation of theories and models in value-free scientific knowledge, and developed the concept of tacit knowledge, a pre-logical phase of knowing where ‘we can know more than we can tell (1967: 4)’ comprised of concepts, images and sensory information that help make sense of our experiences. Polanyi argued that the knowledge of approaching discovery or establishing authenticity is based on a highly personal (not objective) tacit knowledge where the knower senses that there is something valuable to be discovered and feels compelled or committed to investigating the hidden truth claim and relating evidence to an external reality (Polanyi 1967: 24-5).  See Smith (2003).

A more recent faceted universal classification system called  Bliss Bibliographic Classification (BC2), added and redefined the classical classification to include:  thing/entity [who],  kind,  part,  property,  material,  process [how],  operation [how],  patient,  product, by-product, agent [who], space [where], time [when] (Broughton 2001:79). 

(Broughton 2001) described how facted classifications  continue to be “powerful tools for the management of vocabulary, characterised by a rigorous analytical approach to terms, and the clear identification of semantic and syntactic relationships and structures. The philosophy and function of BC2 are described, as is the process of building a knowledge structure on facet analytical principles. The range of related functions of such structures when employed as knowledge management tools (as classification, thesaurus, subject heading list, browsable index) is considered, as is the potential of facet analytical knowledge structures for the management of digital materials. Facet analysis is regarded as a powerful methodology for the creation of structures appropriate to specific retrieval requirements in a range of contexts, with emphasis on the problems of complex subject description and retrieval and multidimensionality.” 

William Denton described (2007-02) “How to Make a Faceted Classification and Put It On the Web” by choosing between these two systems. 

Metadata in terms of content management and information architecture, refers to “information about objects” (documents, images, etc). The well-known Dublin Core specification for metadata includes 15 elements: Title, Creator, Subject, Description, Publisher, Contributor, Date, Type, Format, Identifier, Source, Language, Relation, Coverage and Rights. The DCMI Type Vocabulary “provides a general, cross-domain list of approved terms that may be used as values. They also provide a more comprehensive document: “DCMI Metadata Terms These are described in detail on their site. For example under subject:

Term Name: subject
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/subject
Label: Subject
Definition: The topic of the resource.
Comment: Typically, the subject will be represented using keywords, key phrases, or classification codes. Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary. To describe the spatial or temporal topic of the resource, use the Coverage element.
Type of Term: Property
Refines: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/subject
Version: http://dublincore.org/usage/terms/history/#subjectT-001
Note: This term is intended to be used with non-literal values as defined in the DCMI Abstract Model (http://dublincore.org/documents/abstract-model/). As of December 2007, the DCMI Usage Board is seeking a way to express this intention with a formal range declaration.


  1. Subject-Based Taxonomies (SBT) : “Subject or “Domain” taxonomies attempt to completely describe all of the terms in a field, as well as the relationship between the terms. Typically these relationships are hierarchical, and they are the kind of taxonomies we use to classify knowledge – the kind of taxonomies your biology teacher would talk about. You need a real subject matter expert to create useful subject based taxonomy. And whatever you do, don’t hire two (or more) subject experts, because they will never agree on the taxonomy (Enterprise Search 2007-04-25) .”
    Subject-based classification includes metadata properties or fields that directly describe objects by listing discrete subjects. 
  2. Content-Based Taxonomies (CBT): “Content based taxonomies are organized using existing content. Organization charts, computer directory/folder structures, or social tagging content is typically a ‘content based’ taxonomy. These taxonomies are often built by humans – you do it yourself when you decide what folders to use on your computer. But these can also be done automatically with tools many search and content management vendors sell (Enterprise Search 2007-04-25).”Guarino, Masolo and Vetere’s (1999-05) article described how the OntoSeek system adopts “a language of limited expressiveness for content representation and uses a large ontology based on WordNet for content matching. [S]tructured content representations coupled with linguistic ontologies can increase both recall and precision of content-based retrieval. They compared tf-idf results from a corpus of 100 documents for term ‘cancer’ obtained from Google (cancer, cell, 3. breast, 4. research, 5. treatment, 6. tumor, 7. information, 8. color, 9. patient, 10. health, 11. support, 12. news, 13. care, 14. wealth, 15. tomorrow, 16. entering, 17. writing, 18. loss, 19. dine, 20. mine, 21. dinner) and terms expanded using WordNet (1. cancer, 2. cell, 3. tumor, 4. patient, 5. document, 6. carcinoma, 7. lymphoma, 8. disease, 9. access, 10. treatment, 11. skin, 12. liver, 13. leukemia, 14. risk, 15. breast, 16. genetic,
    17.tobacco, 18. thymoma, 19. malignant, 20. gene, 21. clinical [1].
  3. Behavior-Based Taxonomy (BBT): (Enterprise Search (2007-04-25)) argued that Behavior-Based Taxonomy (BBT) is more important than Subject-Based Taxonomies (SBT) or Content-Based Taxonomies (CBT). Behaviour-Based Taxonomy refers to the actual list of search terms that people actually use when they search a site which can be monitored through your site’s search logs every few months. They recommend that you aim to provide useful results for the top hundred queries on your site (Enterprise Search 2007-04-25) .

wordpress.com offers an amazing service to their bloggers by providing statistics on page views, etc. But they also list queries which has in some ways encouraged me to improve responses to the most frequent search enquiries.  There are search analytic tools available, but we can monitor our own sites using slow world technologies as well. 

tags: queries, Search Analytics, findability, search relevance, search engine optimization (SEO), taxonomy, taxonomies, hierarchies, taxonomy, ontology, semantic web, Data Management, Knowledge Management, Information Architects, information specialists, classification, bottom-up, top-down, hierarchies (arborescent or rhizomic), folksonomy, what is being done in the name of,

faceted tagging: taxonomy: hierarchies,

categories: taxonomies, Internet search engines,

Notes (Draft!!)

The British Classification Society (BCS)’s cross-disciplinary [5] membership includes anthropologists, archaeologists, astronomers, biologists, chemists, computer scientists, forensic scientists, geologists, information specialists, librarians, psychologists, soil scientists and statisticians who are concerned about principles and practice of classification.

Several subject-specific faceted classification systems such as the London Education Classification, the London Classification for Business Studies, and theClassification for Library and Information Science emerged through this initiative. Facet analysis has been applied not only to several classification systems, but has also been used in the design of information retrieval thesauri such as Thesaurofacet, DHSS-DATA Thesaurus and BSI Root Thesaurus, indexing systems such as BTI, CIFT, and GREMAS, and knowledge-based indexing systems such as MedIndex and SIMPR (Aitchison 1969, 1985;British Standards Institution 1988; Burton 1986; Gibb & Fleming 1991; Revie & Smart 1991; Stiles 1985; Travis1989, 1990)

1. Google Search Tips

Search engines:

Simpli “was an early search engine that offered disambiguation to search terms. A user could enter in a search term that was ambiguous (e.g., Java) and the search engine would return a list of alternatives (coffee, programming language, island in the South Seas). The technology was rooted in brain science and built by academics to model the way in which the mind stored and utilized language. The early technology was derived heavily from WordNet, which was invented by George A. Miller at Princeton University. George Miller was an advisory Board member to Simpli.” wiki

Google Search Appliance (GSA)

FAST In April 25, 2008 Microsoft acquired FAST Search & Transfer.

During the last five years, From 1967 until he died in 1972 renowned library scientist, Ranganathan, went through a period of prolific writing. It was at this time that he worked on Colon Classification and “proved that the design and development a scheme for classification is a life time activity (biography).”

3. Garshol’s (2004-10-26)” article focussed on the advantages of using topic maps to represent metadata and subject-based classification thereby re-using existing classifications and classification techniques with more precise descriptions, he also provided clear explanations of the role of faceted categories, subject-based classification and metadata.

1. wiki: The semantic lexicon WordNet groups English words into synsets, provides short definitions, and records the various semantic relations between these synonym sets thereby producing a more intuitive dictionary/thesaurus that is also capable of supporting automatic text analysis and artificial intelligence applications. Every synset contains a group of synonymous words or collocations (a collocation is a sequence of words that go together to form a specific meaning, such as “car pool”); different senses of a word are in different synsets. The meaning of the synsets is further clarified with short defining glosses (Definitions and/or example sentences). A typical example synset with gloss is: good, right, ripe — (most suitable or right for a particular purpose; “a good time to plant tomatoes”; “the right time to act”; “the time is ripe for great sociological changes”) Most synsets are connected to other synsets via a number of semantic relations.”

dog, domestic dog, Canis familiaris
=> canine, canid
=> carnivore
=> placental, placental mammal, eutherian, eutherian mammal
=> mammal
=> vertebrate, craniate
=> chordate
=> animal, animate being, beast, brute, creature, fauna
=> …

On the WordNet site they provide an online search. The query: “dog” gives these results:

S: (n) dog, domestic dog, Canis familiaris (a member of the genus Canis (probably descended from the common wolf) that has been domesticated by man since prehistoric times; occurs in many breeds) “the dog barked all night”
S: (n) frump, dog (a dull unattractive unpleasant girl or woman) “she got a reputation as a frump”; “she’s a real dog”
S: (n) dog (informal term for a man) “you lucky dog”
S: (n) cad, bounder, blackguard, dog, hound, heel (someone who is morally reprehensible) “you dirty dog”
S: (n) frank, frankfurter, hotdog, hot dog, dog, wiener, wienerwurst, weenie (a smooth-textured sausage of minced beef or pork usually smoked; often served on a bread roll)
S: (n) pawl, detent, click, dog (a hinged catch that fits into a notch of a ratchet to move a wheel forward or prevent it from moving backward)
S: (n) andiron, firedog, dog, dog-iron (metal supports for logs in a fireplace) “the andirons were too hot to touch”

S: (v) chase, chase after, trail, tail, tag, give chase, dog, go after, track (go after with the intent to catch) “The policeman chased the mugger down the alley”; “the dog chased the rabbit”

5. In his useful article Tennis (2004) described three paths of interdisciplinary work that shape the future of classification research: emergence, encyclopedism, and ecology.

Webliography and Bibliography

Broughton, Vanda. 2001. “Faceted classification as a basis for knowledge organization in a digital environment; the Bliss Bibliographic Classification as a model for vocabulary management and the creation of multi-dimensional knowledge structures.” The New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia 2001: 67-102.

Denton, William. 2007-02. “How to Make a Faceted Classification and Put It On the Web.”

Guarino, Nicola; Masolo, Claudio; Vetere, Guido. 1999-05. “OntoSeek: Content-Based Access to the Web.” IEEE Intelligent Systems 14: 3:70-80.

Garshol, Lars Marius. 2004-10-26. “Metadata? Thesauri? Taxonomies? Topic Maps!: Making sense of it all.” XML Europe 2004.

Garshol, Lars Marius. 2004. “Metadata? Thesauri? Taxonomies? Topic Maps!: Making sense of it all.Journal of Information Science. Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. 30:4:378-39.

Garshol, Lars Marius. 2004-09. “Metadata? Thesauri? Taxonomies? Topic Maps!: Making sense of it all.interChange. 10:3:17-30.

Jones, Matthew; Alani, Harath. 2006-07-23. “Content-based Ontology Ranking.” 9th International Protege Conference. Stanford, California.

Kehoe, Miles. 2007-Q1. “Interpreting Your Search Activity Reports: What to look for as you review your reports.” New Idea Engineering Inc.4:1.

McIlwaine, I.; Broughton, Vanda. 2000. “The Classification Research Group: then and now.” Knowledge Organization. 27:4: 195-199.

Polanyi, Michael. 1966. Tacit Dimension. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. See Michael Polanyi and Tacit Dimension.

Ranganathan, S.R. 1933 [1987 7th ed]. Colon Classification. Madras: Madras Library Association. 

Ranganathan, S.R. 1933 [2006]. Colon Classification. 6th Edition. Ess Ess Publications, Delhi, India.

Ranganathan, S.R. 1962. Elements of library classification. New York: Asia Publishing House.

Smith, Mark. K. (2003) “Michael Polanyi and tacit knowledge.Encyclopedia of Informal Education.

Spiteri, Louise F. 1995-06. The Classification Research Group and the Theory of Integrative LevelsKatharine Sharp Review. 1:1-6.

Spiteri, Louise. 1998-04. “A Simplified Model for Facet Analysis.” Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science23:1-30.

Taylor, A. G. 1992. Introduction to Cataloging and Classification. 8th ed. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited.

Tennis, Joseph T. 2004. “Three Spheres of Classification Research: Emergence, Encyclopedism, and Ecology.” In
Advances in Classification Research. vol. 13. (Medford, NJ: Information Today for the American Society for
Information Science and Technology).

which world religions get excluded?

Washington Post's blog On Faith: which world religions get excluded?

When I began to become enraptured with Web 2.0 I wanted to find ways to use intelligent, emerging instruments from the semantic web to continually improve findability and search optimization of resources I had gathered over many years, even if my own PC broke down and all my back up systems failed, and my own memory became faulty, or . . . I had hoped that blogging would help me remember where I put things that might someday be useful again.

The catalyst for “Folksonomy: optimizing soul searching” was a question regarding how absent categories impose their presence through their very absence. Faced with closed field category/subcategory options offered by Digg for example, under which I had to place my article, etc I struggled between philosophy or society, finance or economics, environment or politics.

I have also found it enlightening to find under which categories my own Creative Commons blogs, articles, posts and images might appear.

As my own sites grow organically, my categories and parent categories constantly need to be reformulated; new tags added and others deleted or merged. The goal is efficiency and elegance in the ungainly word of “findability” or search engine optimization, potent instruments in the semantic web.

At times I am frustrated by the absence of categories that exclude entire populations and conversations. Recently I came across a site hosted by the Washington Post. In their About page they describe how they use the limitless space of the online world to host a blog entitled “On Faith” which invites “intelligent, informed, eclectic, respectful,fruitful, intriguing and constructive conversation-among specialists and generalists about the things that matter most, religion, the most ancient of forces, the most pervasive yet “least understood topic in global life.”

I read comments and the post from David Grant, a junior at Virginia Tech who commenting on his visit to the Baha’i gardens in Haifa,Israel-Palestine (which has recently been named as an International Heritage Site) remarking on the broad reach of the Baha’i religion. “Where else on Earth could you find a family from the Bible Belt, a pair of South Africans currently working in Japan, and a crew of Peruvians all heading to say their prayers at the same spot?”

I wanted to search “On Faith” for more strings on the Baha’i but realized that Baha’i World Faith was not offered in their pop-up menu of “List Posts by Topics” which did include: Anglican, Atheist/Agnostic, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Earth-based Spirituality, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopal, Evangelical, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Jewish, Mainline Protestant, Mormon, Muslim, Native American religion, Protestant, Quaker, Sikh, Taoist, Wiccan.

As of February 2008 there were 5,000,000 Baha’is in the world and 159,692 Baha’is in the United States. I couldn’t find a figure for either Taoist or Wiccans but one site at least claimed that in 2001 there were c. 34,000 Wiccans in the US.

Baha’is promote tolerance and moderation and are anxiously concerned with the social issues of the time in which they live. Baha’is around the globe contribute to civil society at locally, regionally, nationally levels on issues and programs related to World Religion Day, interfaith relations, religious freedom, Race Unity Day, race unity, elimination of prejudice, advancement of women (CEDAW), human rights, among others. Baha’is have offices at United Nations as NGO are are prominent in international forums as invited participants acknowledged for civil moderate behaviour in the most volatile situations. Recently the U.S. Bahá’í U.N. representative Jeffery Huffines received a Friendship Award for his work “promoting cultural understanding throughout the world and at the UN Headquarters” and for serving as a “positive, guiding force” to all. It is surprising that Baha’is seem to be largely absent from this forum.

The categories offered under “List Posts by Topics” are confusing since some are parent categories for the others. The Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants and Evangelical are all followers of Christ and are all therefore Christians. Which discussions take place solely under the name of Anglican, Mainline Protestants and Episcopal? In terms of the semantic web it would be far more useful to provide a theme-based “List of Topics” that is inclusive of all the groups and religions mentioned. Tags could be used to facilitate searches for a Quaker, Sikh or Baha’i or Catholic perspective, for example. I would recommend that the blog architects revisit and update their taxonomy using principles of folksonomy: what users do with words.

Years of working with research materials leads to a way of thinking with categories, subcategories; key words (tags); abstracts, descriptions, key concepts, timelines, references in .eml or similar formats. The semantic web revs up that process with powerful tools. So my blogs are always a work in progress, process works.

My own personal blogs are experimental and while I am very conscientious about what is here, I can claim no professional authority in any one field.

At this time in my life I feel as if I live outside linear time. Blog stats soar up suddenly for no apparent reason on a blog posted weeks or month ago. So I tidy it up a little. Then the graph drops sharply again with no apparent reason. I don’t need to try to control it.

Outside linear time, I could just pick up threads begun months ago on Milton Friedman, the social history of Inuit, media objectivity or what we do in the name of such concepts as “memory work” or “everyday life.” Through creative commons I could share all my teaching, learning and research resources without having to shorten them, tidy them up or make them ready for someone else’s deadline. Take what you need and leave the rest. I would still work as hard as I could to maintain my own standards particularly in investigating , acknowledging and referencing sources of information, images, etc.

As I am creating, writing, coding, snurling, twittering, blogging, and uploading to wikipedia, social bookmark accounts, my blogs or others’ etc I have absolutely no trust in anyone.

I post knowing that anything I have shared can be misinterpreted, misunderstood, misread. It can be rejected, ignored, criticized. It can be copied and pasted without my name attached. I license all my work under the Creative Commons License 3.0 SA-NC-BY but I know it cannot be enforced in most cases.

So why bother?

What I do is not based on my need to trust others in cyberspace. I do not feel as though I am an embodied link in an embodied network in linear time and space.

This is even more than that. If I use the semantic web effectively, a searcher who is not “now” from a geographic location that is not “here” can still find my arrows, my markers, hotwords and icons, index-mouse-clicks that might just help them a little in their search. Maybe I will be that searcher.

It is more important to me to work hard at providing information that is not misinformation, trying hard to be as close to the truth as is possible, to use the most powerful arguments from the most reliable texts available to me at any given time.

I am not an anthropologist nor a journalist; I am definitely not a churnalist. My responsibility to me and therefore to others in this network or not, is to post that which I believe to be useful in a way that allows others to follow a trail of truth claims should they choose.

Thirteen years ago Francis Fukuyama in Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (1995) questioned predictions that the Internet, the computer to computer communication network, unleashed from restrictions imposed by its creator, the Department of Defense, would herald a new organizational network constituted by small firms and individuals that would prove to be superior to large, hierarchical corporations and anarchical market relationships (Fukuyama 1995:195). Fukuyama argued that network efficiency depended on reciprocal moral judgment [1], “a high level of trust and the existence of shared norms and ethical behaviour between network members (Fukuyama 1995:195).” He contrasted the necessity of that network users share social responsibilities and obligations with hackers and other users who were “free spirits hostile to any form of authority . . . vulnerable to certain forms of normlessness and asocial behaviour.”

Fukuyama furthered argued that the Internet is a community of shared values using the concept similar to Shumpei Kumon’s notion of “consensus/inducement-based exchange.” He felt that Internet users in the 1970s and 1980s (mainly government and academic researchers) internalized unquestioned shared values. The Internet could be kept low-cost if users respected certain ethical standards.

In 1994 two lawyers broke the Internet’s code of ethics and bombarded news groups with advertisements for their services (Fukuyama 1995:196). The lawyers were not breaking any written laws and were not shamed into retreat. However, the sheer quantity of hate mail they receive, forced their server shut down.

Although the monitization of all things Internet is well underway, there is also exponential growth in cyberworld capital [2] which like cultural capital or academic capital can facilitate access to certain privileges. I am aware of ways in which users of social networking sites strategize to optimize search engine findability, to increase their hits, statistics, and cyberworld capital.

I am not certain if the success in accumulating cyberworld capital or monitizing all things Internet is made more efficient by trust?


1. Fukuyama compares network as community concept to the Japanese concept of keiretsu and its western reincarnation in American conglomerates like Gulf + West + ITT. keiretsu depends on a high level of trust.

2. Some measure cyberworld capital in terms such as “authority” as with Technorati. Others self-identify as A1bloggers.

Dendrons, Pisces and the CosmosThis layered image 1440 x 900 at 300 dpi is one stage of the development of my next digitage entitled "Digitage Web2.0 Plus." It is an update on Logo Digitage ( http://snurl.com/25nqe ) in my Flickr album that was the basis for slideshare.net .ppt called Deconstructing Digitage: Web 2.0 as Organic Rhizomic Synapses which has had 1859 views since first uploading 8 months ago.

A comment from slideshare.net cofounder Amit Ranjanon ( http://snurl.com/266mt ) on the .ppt about the low resolution along with the need for .ppt default sizes for to increase shareability, led me to revisit the original .psd file and the .jpg components.

Each layer is being revisited and updated as I learn more about Adobe Photoshop tools and more about each of the component metaphorical images embedded in the many layers. At the same time I am learning more about the organic growth of Web 2.0 Plus (also called Web 3.0, etc). Aggregators and microblogging technologies like twitter http://snurl.com/25t6 have enhanced and simplified connectivity while confusing virtual cartographic projects to visualize the blogosphere as it grows exponentially. I learn from others and also by playing with new technological tools. I remain a bricoleuse, better able to find things in the virtual thrift stores that might come in handy one day. I don’t like to learn by following anymore than the basic instructions and the need-to-know-how things for reasons of security or time-efficiency.

This entry is posted on speechless.

Folksonomy for Flickr

View ocean.flynn’s map
Taken in a place with no name (See more photos or videos here)
This layered image 1440 x 900 at 300 dpi is one stage of the development of my next digitage entitled “Digitage Web2.0 Plus.” It is an update on Logo Digitage ( snurl.com/25nqe ) in my Flickr album that was the basis for slideshare.net .ppt called Deconstructing Digitage: Web 2.0 as Organic Rhizomic Synapses which has had 1859 views since first uploading 8 months ago.

A comment from slideshare.net cofounder Amit Ranjanon ( snurl.com/266mt ) on the .ppt about the low resolution along with the need for .ppt default sizes for to increase shareability, led me to revisit the original .psd file and the .jpg components.

Each layer is being revisited and updated as I learn more about Adobe Photoshop tools and more about each of the component metaphorical images embedded in the many layers. At the same time I am learning more about the organic growth of Web 2.0 Plus (also called Web 3.0, etc). Aggregators and microblogging technologies like twitter snurl.com/25t6 have enhanced and simplified connectivity while confusing virtual cartographic projects to visualize the blogosphere as it grows exponentially. I learn from others and also by playing with new technological tools. I remain a bricoleuse, better able to find things in the virtual thrift stores that might come in handy one day. I don’t like to learn by following anymore than the basic instructions and the need-to-know-how things for reasons of security or time-efficiency.

Flickr groups to which this image belongs: Art & Theory Nobs (Pool), Folksonomy (Pool); Digg It Flickr. Pool (Pool) [X]

Flickr folksonomy: folksonomy, flickr, digitage, creation, creativecommons, connectivity, blogging, adobephotoshop, 1440×900, microblogging, mindbrain, mind, neuralarchitectonics, neuroscience, portrait, powerpoint, powerpointbackground, presentation, raptureofthedeepinternet, reflexivity, rhizome, sharingpresentations, selfportrait, slides, slideshare, synapses, synapticgasp, tagclouds, tagging, taxonomy, technology, theoryinpictures, twitter, vastation, visualization, visualizations, web20, wordpresscom,

I was never attracted to the paintings of E. H. Hughes while I worked as contract art educator at the National Gallery of Canada. It wasn’t until I lived near his home for almost two years, in the Cowichan River valley area that I began to understand that his work was a highly detailed documentation of plants, trees, geological formations, waterways and marine activity — not an attempt to express the impression of the landscape from a tourist’s point-of-view. The ubiquitous greys of the island from November through March explain the colour-challenged palettes in most of Hughes’ prints. The original paintings are rare since most of them have been sold to a unique collector in Germany. But framed expensive mass-produced prints from the original paintings (which the vast majority of people in the age of Robert Bateman — and more recently high quality giclee1 — mistake for original works of art) are prominent, particularly in the places like the family restaurant in Duncan called the Dog House.

In Canada plein art painting in cold weather is possible but uncomfortable. This small acrylic plein air sketch was painted in a couple of hours on the windy escarpment at Edelweis Point. The larger version will portray the mountains more accurately. I often find myself fantasizing about knocking on doors of stranger’s homes-with-a-view to ask for three hours of air space to paint in the off seasons. Following in the paths of plein air painters I had made up my own rules that I followed for decades. I would not paint from pictures. But I moved a lot since then. Each new Canadian region offers new visual opportunities and challenges for painting. Even the qualities of light itself, its clarity, luminosity, is different from region to region. I spent a lot of time studying the patterns of waves on the coast of Vancouver Island. Now I am confused, overwhelmed by the mountains. I want to hike their trails and see them from as many angles as is possible with easy 5-hour scrambles. These days I take digital photos on our day trips in and around Calgary to ecological reserves, public parks or even roadside in Cochrane, Canmore . . . Now I find myself painting with a laptop open beside me so that my finished painting becomes a visual tool for memory work, another way of living in and visualizing my everyday world. I also used to feel that selling mass-produced prints was dishonest and deluded an ill-informed public. Now I am just happy to have available images whatever their source or quality to compare and learn: Flickr, Google images, Virtual museums like the National Gallery of Canada’s, reproductions, etc. There aren’t any overpriced framed Giclees of specific mountain peaks from our local shopping mall galleries hanging over the sofa at home, but I will study and compare them as another way of seeing.

As I refine tags and folksonomy in the virtual world, I seek out more precise multidisciplinary taxonomies in ecosystems I inhabit. It informs the way I see, and the way that I take photographs and paint plein air. I tag my images through Google Earth, Picasa and Flickr. Adobe Photoshop provides tools that allow me to enhance or layer some images. Using www.bivouac.com, Peaks of the Canadian Rockies, and numerous other maps, images and texts I can hyperlink each mountain peak to its exact longtitude/latitude coordinates in Google Earth (and or Picasa and Flickr). In Google Earth I can link the altitude tool relative to space/ground with the height of the mountain. I can also link customized image icons and detailed information including the exact www.bivouac.com and/or Peaks of the Canadian Rockies urls. The process of social tagging or folksonomy fuels my interest in searching for the names that provide the most accurate historical, ecological, geographical information about mountain peaks, glacial erratics, medicinal plants, post-contact plants . . .

Google searches before and after help refine our understanding of the places we have visited. Public librairies, local museums and even Tim Horton’s customers provide more suggestions. Sharing using one of our many social networks is easy. Flickr provides tools for describing and commenting on details of images, adding textual information as well as refined folksonomy, geotagging and comparing photos with special interest groups. Google docs archives the unpublished notes, annotated webliographies and bibliographies and keeps track of published blogs.

In the process I learn about contributions to Alberta’s history by individuals and communities descended from First Nations, Chinese, Italians, French, Irish, British, African-Americans . . .

Of course it is a visual form of memory work. If we only relied on the printed word for knowledge claims we would find ourselves with limited perspectives provided by experts in exclusive academic disciplines who claim that their magisteria is nonoverlapping.

This is changing so rapidly in a world of integrated management. Ecohydrology combines the fields of ecological processes and hydrology that informs integrated management of watersheds. Google Earth allows nonexperts to view climatic zones, mountain ranges, massifs, river valleys, individual mountains, hillslopes, stream channels, estuaries, gullies, barchannels, recharge areas, and in some cases meter-sized features. We can fly over and zoom in on the watershed of the Athabaskan Lake and River, Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan. We can read related reports online and track changes ourselves. This kind of information has never been easier to collect and share.

The most accurate scientific information from legitimate sources provides exact terminologies and taxonomies2 that not only clarify complex issues, they are also folksonomy-friendly.


1. Limited edition archival prints where the editions are limited to a hundred or less of an original work of art and hand autographed by the artist are priced accordingly and were considered to be art collectors items. Robert Bateman is well-known for his high-priced multiple edition prints of his popular wildlife paintings. These are often purchased for a hefty price by uninformed collectors who believe they have an original work of art. With progress in digital technologies, printing inks and processes, giclees from original oil paintings can be printed on canvas that appears to have a varnished finish and priced as much as a unique original painting. Giclees on high quality water colour paper do have an archival life of over a hundred years. Their production is costly so they are priced more than a mass-produced print. Giclee archival prints are a huge improvement over the prints of the Group of Seven and Emily Carr distributed to public schools in Canada in the Post World War II years. Most of these framed prints which unfortunately still hang in public places over fifty years later, have darkened and have lost all semblance to original colours.

I now fully embrace the giclee concept as a way of sharing visual information more widely. It is yet another take on Walter Banjamin’s mechanical reproduction.

2. I looked to wikipedia under geomorphology to find the equivalent of taxonomy for mountains that I have been using to identify wildflowers, medicinal plants. According to wikipedia, “Different geomorphological processes dominate at different spatial and temporal scales. To help categorize landscape scales some geomorphologists use the following taxonomy:

Creative Commons reference:

CC Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “How to paint mountains: Geomorphological taxonomy.” >> speechless. November 13.

CC Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “How to paint mountains: Geomorphological taxonomy.” >> Google docs. November 13.

NB: This article is supposed to be automatically re-published on speechless as changes are made in Google docs. I prefer to have both references available.

Speechless received over 30,000 visits just a year after the first upload. WordPress offers an amazing array of tools to trace users’ searching trends providing a productive interplay between author and reader.  


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