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Knowledge Maps let you build semantic fields or ontologies of terms, which you can then use to label resources you create in Mandala. At the most basic level, Knowledge Maps are terms or tags in a hierarchy. This places a term in the appropriate context.

Furthermore, each Knowledge Map term has its own associated metadata, including term definitions, related terms, alternate names, specific GIS locations, and more. You can see all this information using the Knowledge Maps viewers. Whenever you label a resource in Mandala with a Knowledge Map, it links to the Knowledge Map viewer.    

There are currently two types of Knowledge Maps: subjects, terms, and places. Each has its own viewer at and, respectively. We call the hierarchical grouping of terms a Knowledge Map tree. 


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Subjects, Places, and Terms in Mandala
Subjects, Places, and Terms in Mandala

Subjects, terms, and places are built collaboratively, through crowd-sourcing. Ideally, new subjects or places should integrate into the existing trees at and We understand that everyone has different needs for their project, and are happy to implement whatever terms most serve your scholarship. We only ask that you come to meetings open to collaboration and productive conversation. 

The first step in adding new Knowledge Maps terms is to email the Mandala team at  We'll set up a meeting to discuss your project.