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Thesaurus or glossary? Glossaurus!


The DOCAM Glossaurus is a bilingual tool that acts as both a glossary and a thesaurus: terms associated with the principal media arts concepts used by DOCAM, together with their definitions, are structured in a tree diagram.


More than a simple informational structure, it also presents a definition for each term it lists. More than a simple dictionary associating a word with a definition, it also presents a visualisation of the word in a tree diagram that positions it within a usage context. This tool was built based on the following three criteria:


• Its purpose is to reflect the terminology used at DOCAM rather than to create a media arts dictionary.


• The aim of the Glossaurus is neither to impose any particular utilization of terms nor to act as a terminological reference for a large community of users. Instead, it is intended as a tool that will allow media arts professionals to agree (for however short a period) on a vocabulary that is constantly evolving. The Glossaurus stands as a record of the media arts terminology used at DOCAM between 2004 and 2009.


• Well-established terms with a fixed definition are not included. It should also be noted that the vocabulary used in the media arts sector is evolving at the same pace as the technologies used by the artists. This means that obsolescence is also a topic of discussion, and more precisely terminological obsolescence; often even before the usage of a term becomes widespread, the term is already becoming obsolete. The data contained in the Glossaurus  is fixed in time, and the terms associated with a particular technology are therefore linked to a particular moment in time.


The terms and definitions contained in the Glossaurus have been qualified as preferred by DOCAM, which in no way excludes nor lessens other usages, some of which are nevertheless included in the thesaurus as rejected terms.