Knowledge Cartography for Controversies: The Iraq Debate

Buckingham Shum, Simon and Okada, Alexandra (2008). Knowledge Cartography for Controversies: The Iraq Debate. In: Okada, Alexandra; Buckingham Shum, Simon J. and Sherborne, Tony eds. Knowledge Cartography: software tools and mapping techniques. Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing, 1. Springer, pp. 249–265.




In analysing controversies and debates—which would include reviewing a literature in order to plan research, or assessing intelligence to formulate policy—there is no one worldview which can be mapped, for instance as a single, coherent concept map. The cartographic challenge is to show which facts are agreed and contested, and the different kinds of narrative links that use facts as evidence to define the nature of the problem, what to do about it, and why. We will use the debate around the invasion of Iraq to demonstrate the methodology of using a knowledge mapping tool to extract key ideas from source materials, in order to classify and connect them within and across a set of perspectives of interest to the analyst. We reflect on the value that this approach adds, and how it relates to other argument mapping approaches.

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