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Concept Mapping

LIB mindmap love

A concept map or "mindmap" is a simple way to visually display ideas and relationships among concepts. Creating one can help you organize your ideas and define your topic.



How You Do IT
Concept Mapping tutorial developed by Ellen Petraits at the Rhode Island School of Design  Library
      LIB mindmap 2

Examples
You can create a mindmap of anything!

Right: Interesting mindmap created as a Wikipedia advertisment. Found on Flickr. Click on image to go to the page describing it.

More examples from Flickr

 

The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them

   Mind Map Chalkboard


Web Tools
There are many mindmapping software packages available.

Bubl Us is free and easy to use.

Mind Meister is good and free for use with limited features. But you have to sign up.

 

   LIB mindmap bubbles


From Wikipedia:

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.

The elements of a given mind map are arranged intuitively according to the importance of the concepts, and are classified into groupings, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing memories.

By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner, mind maps encourage a brainstorming approach to planning and organizational tasks. Though the branches of a mindmap represent hierarchical tree structures, their radial arrangement disrupts the prioritizing of concepts typically associated with hierarchies presented with more linear visual cues. This orientation towards brainstorming encourages users to enumerate and connect concepts without a tendency to begin within a particular conceptual framework.

The mind map can be contrasted with the similar idea of concept mapping. The former is based on radial hierarchies and tree structures denoting relationships with a central governing concept, whereas concept maps are based on connections between concepts in more diverse patterns.