Metaphors are mappings from one domain to another. Typically, the source domain is familiar to the audience, and the target domain is unfamiliar or abstract. This is what makes metaphors useful for humancomputer interaction and for conceptualizing information systems and computer technology in general. The most prominent example remains the desktop metaphor, which maps abstract computing notions to familiar desktop concepts (files, folders, clip board, trash can, cut and paste, etc.). Geographic information systems (GIS) architectures and interfaces are also strongly shaped by metaphors, mostly of maps and map layers. This entry summarizes the modern, cognitive understanding of metaphors and the roles it plays for GIS designers and users.

Metaphors Create Structure

Metaphor is the fundamental mechanism with which humans understand and learn something new, particularly ...

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