Traditional approaches to mapping information space derive the space's coordinate system from the postulates of a theory pertaining to the objective characteristics of the space. Examples of such approaches can be found in Dömel (1994), Girardin (1995), Hauck (1996) or Nielsen (1995). A good overview of these approaches is provided by Skupin (1998). Notwithstanding the usefulness of these approaches, especially for purposes of mapping the contents of information spaces, one could question the validity of the chosen coordinate system. Alternatively, one might try to inductively infer the coordinate system from navigational data generated by those traversing the space while in search of information. Unlike the traditional and normative approaches, such an inductive approach would result in the mapping of the information space as it is used rather than as it is defined. For information spaces implemented on the world-wide web, the navigational data for such an inductive approach exist in the transaction logs kept by the server through which the information is served.
Reitsma, Rene and Buttenfield, Barbara, "Inductive Explorations of Information Space Geography" (1999). AMCIS 1999 Proceedings. 98.