Archive for August, 2012

Solutions for the Index Locator Problem with e-Book Indexes

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

A paragraph-numbering system for locators, such as the one the Chicago Manual of Style uses, might possibly work for linking all e-book version of indexes the same way.  But this might happen only if all e-reader devices would use a paragraph-based system, a standardized method of numbering screen pages/locations, and consistent placement of the index anchor links on their screen “pages.”

If we want both quick and precise post-coordinate indexing for finding information in e-books, we have to find a way to combine machine-based indexing with the kind of pre-coordinate indexing that indexers do for print books even if whole indexes in e-books are not visible to the reader.  We need a semi-pre-coordinated, post-coordinate system that can sift through a large amount of data while at the same time be able to find a relevant, precise, piece of data.

This kind of indexing is “latticed” indexing.  We need to develop a “latticed” indexing system for sifting through large quantities of data and at the same time connecting a lot of related bits of data together in an organized way.  The use of the flat, one-dimensional alphabetical index, separate from the text in the print book, is both tedious to implement and antiquated in dynamic digital space.  We need a multi-dimensional system of information storage and retrieval that’s appropriate for cyberspace.  A place to begin to envision what a “latticed” index on the Web might look like would be a “faceted” classification system, and would offer e-book readers a way to search more effectively.

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