Mapping has evolved from providing directions for safe entry to harbours for example,  or how to get from A to B and back to buy a bottle of milk, and is now approached in a more creative way. One aspect of mapping that I have been exploring is that of mind mapping.  Mind maps are created with words or images.  It is a way of visually organising information relating to a nominated idea.  This is generally placed in the centre of the page with relating ideas radiating outward from the central point.  It can be hand drawn, providing a quick way to map ideas in a meeting for example, or it can be carefully constructed using computer software such as those listed on Lifehacker as the five best mind mapping tools . Tony Buzan, a British writer and television presenter introduced and popularised the concept of mind maps around 1974,  when he hosted a program entitled “Use your Head” on BBC TV.  A companion book was published elaborating on his idea of a radial tree structure. His suggested approach when creating mind maps was:

  • Start in the centre with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colours
  • Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map
  • Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters
  • Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line
  • The lines should be connected, starting from the central image.
  • The lines become thinner as they radiate out from the centre
  • Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support
  • Use multiple colours throughout the mind map
  • Develop your own personal style of mind mapping
  • Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map
  • Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy or outlines to embrace your branches

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 11.07.14 am Along similar lines is the concept map which may have multiple groupings of ideas. Untitled (8)

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