Little Question: batman-adv

Does the protocol used for routing in the Gluon firmware, batman-adv, basically create one big Local Area Network (LAN), but obviously with decentralized (mesh) routing rather than centralised routing (hub and spoke).

Think of batman-adv as a very big virtual switch.
batman-adv deals mainly with mac-addresses only.

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Yes, actually the result of batman-adv is a big virtual switch, which uses mac-addresses for identification. What happens in the background can be read here:
Yes, in the background it’s mainly a generated set of routing tables for the way from every possible point in the network to every other point in the network in order to make communication through this decentralized mesh possible.

I love your analogy. That makes so much sense. And an adhoc switch it is too.