As we accumulate more and more information online, we’re inclined to add more and more metadata—so we can order it, manage it, and re-find it. This growing belt of metadata is referred to as the “navigation layer.“ It‘s the series of filters, categories, tags, and other devices that let us to interact with information so we can sift out the noise.
What’s more, the navigation layer isn’t just about finding information—it can also help us make sense of the stuff we find. Sentiment analysis and entity extraction, for example, provide new insights into the information we come across. Ultimately, the navigation layer can point to high-order patterns that increase understanding.