Mandala comprises a suite of digital tools used for storing, organizing, and publishing collections of scholarly media, media which then can be interrelated and cataloged by subject and place. Mandala is much like Ecology, the study of relationships of organisms to each other and to their environment. SHANTI created the Mandala Project for collections of digitized media which would have essentially three parts:
- Mandala Suite of Tools is the environment
- The media content created by scholars using these digital tools are the organisms that live within this environment
- The Knowledge Maps application is the glue that allows everything to interact with everything else
Mandala makes it possible for scholars to create this sophisticated content without needing special grants or much programming assistance. Scholars of all skill-levels can easily create rich collections that include many types of media, such as videos, charts, essays, network graphs, and much more. Using Mandala is simple.
- To get started, simply create a collection and add content to it using a digital tool, such as Audio-Video, Visuals, or Texts, all of which can be accessed with NetBadge.
- Next, catalog and connect content together by creating Knowledge Maps from Subjects and Places.
- Finally, explore your collections in portals that show all of your content, as well as the content of others, and focus your exploration by searching for the Knowledge Map terms that interest you.