How might we draw meaningful diagrams of wiki that don't turn quickly into a fuzzball of links?
The Interstate Highway map provides an ideal where hundreds of nodes are placed in meaningful relation and connected with often two but sometimes ten arcs each. source
We desire to see more of wiki all at once. We might use a graph to consider where we are, where we might go, and how we should get there in the wiki's information space.
The dense linking in wiki works against the notion of meaningful maps. There is no obvious spatial relationship to guide node placement. Nor is there room for all of the arcs between nodes. There are too many to be represented with lines.
The dense linking also leads to unhelpfully short shortest-paths between pages. A computer algorithm might find a four-hop route but it will surely not be the route that would inform a human reader.
One solution is to weight all nodes and arcs. An algorithm could prune the graph until it met some size and density criteria. We have many options.
We could favor the largest pages or the most frequently clicked links.
We could choose the more recently edited or more coincidently edited content.
We could rate pages by familiarity or relevance using natural language processing.
Our own experience has been that we quickly discover what we might call knots in the fabric where even carefully devised weighting systems are fooled by oddball circumstances. Consider welcome-changes or don.ny2.fedwikihappening.net.
An individual's own browsing history might be usefully overlaid over the federation as an aid to memory.
We could better the browser's own blue/purple link distinction. Where have you been? What is left to see here? How do you get around? What has led you here?
We could emphasize liked pages and discard or even blacklist disliked ones. We could edit our own browsing history and share it as tours for others to follow.
We could consult a roster of tours so as to get the best advice of those we trust. We could rate sites by properties of their tours.