Evaluating an Information Product: The Interactive Map of Dubai

Informatics projects of the world

Language and informatics

 

 

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Question 1: Informatics projects of the world

In Topic 1, we said that the themes of informatics apply to just about any discipline. This question asks you to find some examples of informatics projects across a variety of subject areas and discuss how informatics techniques are being applied in them. To make it more interesting, you will also look at a variety of regions of the world.

The map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:United_Nations_geographical_subregions.png shows the United Nations geographical sub-regions of the world. Select any 2 (two) of the sub-regions, and for any country in that region, find an example of an informatics project that is currently being undertaken. We can define an informatics project here as one in which the main focus of the project is to do with information.

 

Possible subject areas could be in: art, music, business, museums and cultural archives, law, politics, environmental science, health, linguistics, and many others. Some suggested applications were described in Topic 1 and the textbook, section 0.1.2, and you may have found others in Tutorial 1. For example: an instance of informatics being applied in a cultural heritage project would be the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program, described at http://www.nla.gov.au/ndp/selected_newspapers/

 

For each of your projects:

  1. a)  Give the reference to where the project is described. Make sure you follow the correct referencing format (e.g. whether it is a journal article, the project web site, etc.). Don’t just give the URL.
  2. b)  Give a brief overview description of the project in your own words – do not copy and paste from the website or article.
  3. c)  Discuss how informatics is being applied in the project. Here you should focus on how the information involved in the project is being discovered, collected, stored, transformed, communicated and used to inform people, solve problems or make decisions.
  4. d)  What are the main problems or issues faced by the project? Are these related more to the technological aspects or to the human ones?

You will be marked for this question on the following criteria:

  • Good examples, relevant to the ‘broad themes’ of informatics discussed in Topic 1.
  • Quality of the summary, in providing a concise and informative overview of the project.
  • A good discussion of how informatics is being used in the project
  • Good identification of issues faced by the project
  • Correct and complete referencing details.

 

Question 2: Evaluating an Information Product: The Interactive Map of Dubai

In Topic 1 we discussed some design principles that could be used to evaluate the quality and usability of an information product. This question asks you to apply those principles to a particular information product, and also to reflect on how your own background and framework of understanding contribute to your conclusions.

The information product you are to evaluate is the Interactive Map of Dubai (produced by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) at http://www.dtcm- dubaimap.com/applet/map.html and any relevant links from that page.

  • 1.a)  From your perspective as a user of the Map, evaluate its quality on each of the 13 design principles that are discussed in Topic 1 . Write a sentence or two on each.

 

  • 2b)  Some design principles may be more significant than others in different information products. List the three design principles you think are MOST important for the Map, and the three that you think are LEAST important. Explain your judgment in a few sentences.

 

  • 3c)  Consider your own background, experience, biases, preferences and other factors that may contribute to your framework of understanding in evaluating the Map. How have these factors affected your assessment? Do you think these contributing factors are specific to you or are there some concerns that might be shared by a wider potential audience for the map? How would you improve the map to take these concerns into account?

(A few things you might reflect on here are: are you new to the area, or have you lived there for some time? Is   English your first or second language? Are you primarily a ‘visual’ thinker, or prefer text?)

 

You will be marked for this question on the following criteria:

  • A thorough assessment of the design principles applying to the Map in (a)
  • A reasoned explanation for the most and least important factors in (b)
  • An insightful discussion of how your own framework of understanding may affect your assessment in (c)

 

Question 3: Language and informatics

In this question, you are to locate and summarise published research on a topic of interest.

Choose any ONE of the topics listed below, and find THREE quality references about it. The references you select should be from scholarly books, journals or conference proceedings.

 

  1. a)  For each reference:
    • Give the full citation details, using a standard referencing style such as APA, Chicago,etc. State which style you are using.
  • Write a short  summary outlining the major points raised in the article.
  1. b)  Give a short overall summary of the three references you have described, highlighting points of similarity or difference between them.
  2. c)  Suggest a question that could be asked which could advance understanding of the topic. (For example, if your topic had been the Navajo code talkers’ secret language, a question might be: “have there been any technological developments that would prevent the strategy of using Navajo as secret code from working nowadays?”

Topics (choose any ONE): Artificial languages

You will be marked for this question on the following criteria:

  • Breadth of research (your articles should ideally be drawn from different publications and authors).
  • Quality of the summary (this should not simply be a restatement of the article’s abstract or introduction, but should demonstrate that you have read and understood the content of the article)
  • Quality of the suggested question.

 

 

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