Information on the Internet has been steadily growing over time. Organizing this infinitely growing mass of information is laborious. It must be amazing to note that even the largest search engines index only close to half of this incredible chunk of Information. Google indexes less than 4X10 9 WebPages. Health information forms just a fraction of these. There are a number of tools that visually organize this information that the user can visually navigate in cyberspace, like someone cruising along the streets.
Maps are interactive tools that can spatially render information before the user so that he can navigate in the virtual space by virtue of his cognitive abilities. The information can be rendered in two [Information space maps] or three dimensions. Thus it can represent more information in less space.
Information mapping is a rapidly growing technology with application in different domains, and health applications are one of the most prominent of these.Here we discuss three prominent websites offering maps on health resources.
One is sure to get lost in the avalanche of ever growing information on the Internet. There are a wide range of promising technologies like GIS and Self-organizing algorithms. The superiority of one single technology cannot be assessed at this time since most of them have not been utilized extensively.
Interactive maps are very useful in conceptualizing and assimilating information on large scale as that on the Internet over a short time and space. Thus they form an inevitable future of Medical/Health information dissemination.
More reading on this topic:
Kamel Boulos MN, Roudsari AV, Carson ER: HealthCyberMap: A Semantic Visual Browser of Medical Internet Resources Based on Clinical Codes and the Human Body Metaphor.
Health Info Libr J 2002
Tutarel O: Geographical distribution of publications in the field of medical education. BMC Med Educ 2002
Girardin L: Mapping the Virtual Geography of the world-wide web