VII.5 Design vs. Emergence, Visualization of Knowledge Orders

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Cheng Gao

Krzysztof Suchecki

Andrea Scharnhorst

Alkim Almila Akdag Salah

Created by digital humanities and art history scholar Alkim Almila Akdag Salah, computer scientist Cheng Gao, complex networks researcher and sociophysicist, Krzysztof Suchecki, and physicist and information scientist Andrea Scharnhorst, this map shows the differences between the category structure of Wikipedia and the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) system. Shown on the left is the main tree structure of Wikipedia categories (top four levels). Given on the right is the UDC structure as a tree (all nine levels) of this widely used library classification system. The donut chart and bar chart in the middle show the alignment of the nine UDC main classes to the 43 main topic categories used by Wikipedia. All four visualizations use the same color-coding, making it possible to explore the dominance, distribution, and interrelations of topics. The work aims to increase our understanding of how knowledge maps differ when they are created socially (Wikipedia) as opposed to when they are created formally (UDC) using classification theory.


Salah, Alkim Almila Akdag, Cheng Gao, Krzysztof Suchecki, and Andrea Scharnhorst. 2012. “Need to Categorize: A Comparative Look at the Categories of Universal Decimal Classification System and Wikipedia.” Leonardo 45 (1) (February): 84-85. doi:10.1162/LEON_a_00344. (Preprint

Salah, Alkim Almila Akdag, Cheng Gao, Andrea Scharnhorst, and Krzysztof Suchecki. 2011. Design vs. Emergence: Visualisation of Knowledge Orders. Courtesy of The Knowledge Space Lab, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In “7th Iteration (2011): Science Maps as Visual Interfaces to Digital Libraries,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Michael J. Stamper.

Acknowledgements: This exhibit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0238261, CHE-0524661, IIS-0534909 and IIS-0715303, the James S. McDonnell Foundation; Thomson Reuters; the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, University Information Technology Services, and the School of Library and Information Science, all three at Indiana University. Some of the data used to generate the science maps is from the Web of Science by Thomson Reuters and Scopus by Elsevier. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.