Content Mapping

Written by Yvette Dubel
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During the conceptual phase of a project, the emphasis is on top-down construction of the information configuration. This is, of course, with consideration for the architecture that will advance the undertaking, usability, and actual content. Moving into the production stage, the bottom-up approach becomes more relevant. This would include collecting and analysis. That point of intersection where the two approaches converge is content mapping.

Key aspects of content mapping are breaking down or combining data into consistent components. Through this process, this content is estranged from its containment mechanism. Instead of dealing with pages and paragraphs, this content consists of diaphanously grained bits of data that demand specific treatment on an individual basis.

This information comes from a number of sources in various formats. The objective of content mapping is to integrate it into the informational architecture. Due to these variations, one to one mapping from the source to the destination is rarely possible. For example, one page of brochure may not equate to one page of web content. This is why the content must be distinguished from its container.

Something to Remember

This separation assists in the reuse of content. Maximum lifecycle is achieved when combined with database-driven solutions designed for content management. This allows changes in the data to be adjusted in the database record and then propagated throughout the system with minimal action. Information can be most efficiently utilized when content mapping is employed to streamline and structure organizational content. Therefore it is worth the effort for project managers to give it special consideration.

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