The article examines the strengths and limitations of the analogy of information landscapes proposed by Annemaree Lloyd. The analogy offers a novel approach to the conceptualization of the spatial contexts of information practices. Drawing on the ideas of metaphor analysis, the analogy is scrutinized by comparing the similarities between its source domain, that is, natural landscape, and target domain, that is, information landscape. The study identified three main aspects of the analogy: (1) information landscapes as spaces affording the accomplishment of information practices, (2) information landscapes as spaces entwining physical and imaginary qualities and (3) information landscapes as socially constructed spatial contexts of information practices. The findings suggest that the construct of information landscapes represents a spatial analogy in which the properties of the source domain partially elucidate the nature of the contexts of information practices. The analogy works best with regard to similarities between affordances offered by natural landscapes and information landscapes. The major limitation of the analogy deals with difficulties to map physical features of the source domain onto the cognitive and social qualifiers of the target domain.
- Analogy, context, information practices, information landscapes, spatial context
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