M A N I F E S T O (Categorized table)




"As we may think"

"As we may see"





Vannevar Bush

Ron Wild





Description of Need


The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers -- conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much less to remember, as they appear.

But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends.


…truly significant attainments become lost in the mass of the inconsequential.

…this sort of catastrophe is undoubtedly being repeated all about us.

Forest and trees

Trees and forest


The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, and the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships. …

publication has been extended far beyond our present ability to make real use of the record.


Professionally our methods of transmitting and reviewing the results of research are generations old and by now are totally inadequate for their purpose.

If the aggregate time spent in writing scholarly works and in reading them could be evaluated, the ratio between these amounts of time might well be startling.


Knowledge Management


A record if it is to be useful to science, must be continuously extended, it must be stored, and above all it must be consulted.

Live growing maps


It takes pictures 3 millimeters square, later to be projected or enlarged…



The only fantastic thing about it is the idea of making as many pictures as would result from its use.

Infinite number of personalized views (layers, zoom levels, pans,


Mere compression, of course, is not enough; one needs not only to make and store a record but also be able to consult it,

Engaging interactivity required


Even the modern great library is not generally consulted; it is nibbled at by a few.

Vast knowledge bases are generally inaccessible


…the creative aspect of thinking is concerned only with the selection of the data and the process to be employed and the manipulation thereafter is repetitive in nature and hence a fit matter to be relegated to the machine.


Information Map cartography

Internet Map Server (ASP technology)




He is primarily an individual who is skilled in the use of symbolic logic on a high plane, and especially he is a man of intuitive judgment in the choice of the manipulative processes he employs.

Knowledge Mapping Artisan


(art / science Renaissance Man)


Proposed "Memex" Solution


A new symbolism, probably positional, must apparently precede the reduction of mathematical transformations to machine processes.

Information mapping is spatial / positional visual symbolism and graphic metaphor

"GIS'ing the information landscape"



This is a much larger matter than merely the extraction of data for the purposes of scientific research; it involves the entire process by which man profits by his inheritance of acquired knowledge.

"but if the scholar can get at only one a week by diligent search, his syntheses are not likely to keep up with the current scene."

Need map of the Great Ideas providing access to knowledge


…it proceeds by examining in turn every one of a large set of items, and by picking out those which have certain specified characteristics.

Visual thinking, pattern recognition, perception assisted by database attribute matching and selection criteria


It operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain.

How the brain works (associations, links, paths, …), and how internet information is physically structured are, are mirrored by a map interface between the two.


Man cannot hope fully to duplicate this mental process artificially, but he certainly ought to be able to learn from it. In minor ways he may even improve, for his records have relative permanency.

Mind-mapping approach to information organization, visualization, and communication


… a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility.

The "GreatMap" interface


How to use Mapping Interface


… any item may be caused at will to select immediately and automatically another.

"…associative indexing, …" rule-based linking


When the user is building a trail, he names it

Map labeling, "Crumb-trailing" allowing user to place benchmarks or map milestones (spatial book-marking),


Before him are the two items to be joined, projected onto adjacent viewing positions.

Structured branching (benefit of side by side map view windows?)


…and a pointer is set to indicate one of these on each item

"Pointers" to records within database engine


… these dots by their positions designate the index number of the other item.

Spatial referencing, thematic mapping (custom icons; shape, size, color, opacity,…), online search "boxes"…


Thereafter, at any time, when one of these items is in view, the other can be instantly recalled

Information landscape navigation


Moreover, when numerous items have been thus joined together to form a trail, they can be reviewed in turn, rapidly or slowly,

Using an information map


for any item can be joined into numerous trails

N-dimensional views and multiple links


…he finds another pertinent item, and ties the two together. Thus he goes, building a trail of many items. Occasionally he inserts a comment of his own, either linking it into the main trail or joining it by a side trail to a particular item.

Map customization and personalization (sticky notes)


Thus he builds a trail of his interest through the maze of materials available to him.

Developing a map by tracing exploration (then "cleaning up" resulting image,


And his trails do not fade

Permanent record of search and discovery efforts (leaving "foot prints" that contribute to wearing a path for others to follow


…runs through it at will, stopping at interesting items, going off on side excursions. It is an interesting trail, pertinent to the discussion. So he sets a reproducer in action, photographs the whole trail out, and passes it to his friend for insertion in his own memex, there to be linked into the more general trail.

"GPS record" ("bread-crumbing") of trail to guide other people. Resulting detailed maps sent to others to be linked to other general maps


provision whereby any item may be caused at will to select immediately and automatically another.

Associated click-throughs and pop-ups (on rollover or…),


Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified.

The GreatMap ("Visual Encyclopedia") ready to be traverse and zoomed / amplified


The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world's record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected.

Legacy value of maps (versioning capability to illustrate growth, animated simulations?,




Presumably man's spirit should be elevated if he can better review his shady past and analyze more completely and objectively his present problems. He has built a civilization so complex that he needs to mechanize his records more fully if he is to push his experiment to its logical conclusion

Mapping the Great Ideas provides access to past lessons learned. Accumulated wisdom can be applied to current similar predicaments.


His excursions may be more enjoyable if he can reacquire the privilege of forgetting the manifold things he does not need to have immediately at hand, with some assurance that he can find them again if they prove important.

Turn-off detailed layers and views easily (without losing quick access to them) to generate "Bird's Eye View".


They may yet allow him truly to encompass the great record and to grow in the wisdom of race experience.

GreatMap documents and communicates the growing "wisdom of the ages".


He urges that men of science should then turn to the massive task of making more accessible our bewildering store of knowledge.

Now, says Dr. Bush, instruments are at hand which, if properly developed, will give man access to and command over the inherited knowledge of the ages.

Dr. Bush calls for a new relationship between thinking man and the sum of our knowledge.