WWW6 Workshop: Web Site Mapping

Workshop Organizers


Workshop Abstract

It has been often proposed to increase the level of granularity of the Web, from the single page (as provided by most Web browsers) to a site, or more generally to any collection of URLs. In order to break this "page" barrier, an abstraction is required for handling and visualizing sets of URLs. This abstraction is commonly called site maps using the geographical metaphor, and is to Web sites, what tables of contents are to books. Site mapping has become a key issue on the Web as proven by the emergence of multiple tools (NetCarta, CLEARWeb, MAPA, HotSauce, Domino.WebCutter, etc.).

Site maps have been first used mostly by Websurfers who wished to have a global view of the organization of a site so as to jump directly to interesting parts (like a table of contents). More recently, site maps are being seen as a key component in Web site management solutions as they provide a handle for various kinds of operations involved in management activities.

Site maps can be built manually, or semi-automatically while the Web site is being created, or dynamically by crawling the site via HTTP so as to get a snapshot at a given moment. We concentrate here on dynamic site mapping tools as they reflect the actual state of sites as seen by visitors rather than designed by authors.

The purpose of this meeting is to review the state of the art in site mapping tools, and see how current tools support or interact with site management activities, including authoring, configuration, log analysis etc.

In addition, we want to discuss the status of the W3C working draft on Web Collection and see how it support and relates to site mapping, as well as other related IETF proposals such as the WebDAV (Distributed Authoring and Versioning on the World Wide Web).

Finally, at the end of this workshop we shall produce a site mapping protocol draft (as part of, or independent from the Web Collections proposal) and have the attendees pursue their collaboration as a working group.

Position Paper

Yoelle Maarek and Dror Zernik are with the IBM Haifa Research Lab and have been actively involved in the development of site mapping tools in the context of the WebCutter project. WebCutter (presented in the Technical Program of the WWW6 Conference) is a system for dynamic and tailorable site mapping. WebCutter, in its Domino incarnation (Domino.WebCutter) is being integrated into Lotus Domino.Applications products family, and its beta version has been presented at Lotussphere in Jan 97. It will be in GA in June 1997. In addition, the team has contributed to the W3C working draft on site mapping and Web Collections. One the purposes of this meeting is to gather the original team that contributed to the working draft so as to reunify the different existing versions.

Yoelle Maarek has been w/ IBM Research for the last 8 years (first at the T.J. Watson Research Center and then at the Haifa Research Lab) and now manages the "Information Retrieval and Organization group" that developed WebCutter. Her research interests cover information retrieval, cluster analysis, and the Web.
Dror Zernik has been an Assistant Professor at the Technion Institute of Technology before joining IBM. He is an expert in visualization and graph layout techniques.


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