The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing

Visualizing back-of-book indexes

The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing (2012), 30, (1), 25–37.

Abstract

As the popularity of ebooks has surged, so too has interest in how best to enable readers to browse and search for topics of interest within them. Two obvious strategies are to integrate ebooks with full-text search capabilities or hyperlink-enabled indexes. But we can also treat indexes as knowledge representations, encode them as data structures, and use computer graphics techniques to create unique index visualizations. These visualizations can reveal or emphasize relationships between topics – and their locations within the text – that are obscured in the traditional presentation of indexes and that are completely unavailable to the reader via full-text search.

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