The problem of filing and retrieving electronic documents is of particular interest and relevance to system designers, and the problem is compounded by the fact that we do not understand how users of paper files organize their materials.
Central to the problem of filing either electronic or hard copy test are problems of RECALL (What did I call that file?) and RECOGNITION (What is in that file?)
Focus on chronological and geographical facets of information.
Utilize sliding scale time periods to define categories and subsequently labels for materials.
Realize the newer cognitive schools of thought that say words have different meanings for most people.
Computer systems must mimic both human thinking and the characteristics of physical storage s well as the language of the documents.
Continue to use qualitative studies to contribute to interface design –this will add to understanding of the use of metaphor in human reasoning.
The project has been developed by a Purdue faculty and student team led by Dr. Sorin A. Matei , who specializes in the social and cognitive impacts of new media. Visible Past is a location-aware learning environment geared toward the delivery, discovery, and storage of information, but using the spatial and temporal characteristics of that information as the organizing structure. The main Visible Past aim is to enhance research, classroom, and museum learning by harnessing the implicit space and time attributes of information while at the same time fully embracing the read/write ethic. “We intend for the platform to validate and extend a theoretical framework for humanities research and learning. We aim to establish a set of methodological tools for virtual reality, location-sensitive research and learning that can be extended to other environments and, indeed, other disciplines.” An example of the effort to use qualitative study results such as those found in Case’s study to improve interface design based on the implications previously mentioned can be found in a project undertaken by a faculty/student group at Purdue University .
Imagine an online historical atlas where each historical event would be mapped and annotated with text, diagrams,
pictures, videoclips, and audiofiles. http://www.visiblepast.net
Imagine ... a site where people interested in the same historical events, places, monuments or periods can network.
Imagine... a site that can automatically index information and create clusters of events, places or historical personalities
based on the users common interests in them.
Imagine ... a site that can recommend the best books or articles available for a specific historical topic.
Imagine ... a service that would deliver to your cell phone information about any spot on the planet you might find
Imagine ... a room with life-size screens on which virtual models of the ancient Roman Forum, of the Omaha Beach
Battle or of the Forbidden City would be projected and interacted with in 3d.
Now imagine ... there was a way to make available for reading or editing the information stored by the atlas to the person using the cell phone in Rome, at the ruins of the Roman Forum. Imagine that the person in the 3D virtual reality room could visualize all the data contributed by the visitors of the online atlas.
Finally , imagine the people using cell phones, desktop computers or full immersion 3d virtual reality models talking to each other through a communication system that allows them to share impressions, passions and ideas.
These ideas do not belong to the realm of science fiction. They are the product of the Visible Past project, initiated by a group of faculty at Purdue University. Visible Past is a seamless network of information that turns the idea of information searching and retrieval on its head. Spatially locating and disseminating information, Visible Past takes the pain out of searching for information because through it information searches for you.