An experience in knowledge mapping

Carla van den Berg (Consultant for the Delft University of Technology Library (The Netherlands). She has a background as a librarian and as a historian. In recent years knowledge management in the engineering world became one of her main topics. Her experience in library automation, retrieval issues and project management brought her competence in handling complex knowledge management projects.)
Ioana Popescu (Senior Lecturer in Hydroinformatics at Unesco‐IHE Institute for Water Education. She has experience in the areas of mathematical modelling and ICT. This foundation has led to her current research interest and expertise in the development and application of modelling systems for water‐related areas. Her experience with ICT technology and modelling software has led to competence in designing knowledge management applications, particularly in the areas of knowledge mapping and e‐learning systems)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 1 April 2005



To improve access to implicit knowledge by tunnel construction engineers.


The strategy was to strengthen the informal networks by improving codification and diffusion of this knowledge. Project members tried to do that by searching for ways that make sharing, expressing and retrieving knowledge easier. Therefore they looked at networks, documents, organizations etc. The results are realized in a working prototype. The prototype makes use of the concept of a knowledge map integrated with a database with grey literature.


In general the evaluation of the Tunnel Center prototype has been positive in terms of the project's research questions.

Research limitations/implications

The most important lesson learned is that information needs of the different user groups seem to differ more than was realized in the beginning. The project team is very keen to work on this problem in a possible next phase of the project.

Practical implications

The knowledge developed in the project can be used by professionals who share the same subject. Communities of practice, organizations etc. which want to share their knowledge could also be interested.


The concept of the knowledge map is quite new. The combination of it with a database with grey literature is unique. It has value for all who work in this area.



van den Berg, C. and Popescu, I. (2005), "An experience in knowledge mapping", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 123-128.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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