We need CONCEPT MAPS for the adequate representation of complex relations!

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  • Updated 5 years ago
"Mind maps are excellent for simple organisational work, but their restrictive hierarchical structure doesn't allow the adequate visualization of complex relations.

Mind maps, hence hierarchical structures, are just a small subset of the much more potent world of Concept Mapping.

Please, introduce the power of true concept mapping!"
(from mentalwaves)
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Mindjet

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Posted 6 years ago

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Mindjet

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"There are probably user, which don't really understand, why we are voting for concept maps. Here are some arguments.

AN ELEMENTAR SAMPLE

Simply try to adequately visualize a very simple case:
A---loves--->B---hates--->C---loves--->A

You'll quickly see, that you'll need to draw a loop, to obtain a clear and neutral model - in this case a kind of triangle ABC. But the typical MM mind map doesn't support this. So the alternative could be three floating topics and relationships between them. Just try this and you'll see what a cumbersome work you have to do, although you create a simple construct with only three elements.

The more complex your construct, the many objects and loops, the more you'll realize, how dramatically the mind map principle fails, and how helpless we currently are without concept maps.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT AS SAMPLE

In the case of project management the best combination is not Mind Map + Gantt Chart, but PERT Chart + Gantt Chart.
Why? Because complex projects require as well sequentially as parallelly performed activities. Such interdependencies can be modeled as network (concept map - in this case a PERT chart). A Mind Map is not able to display the needed relations, being a completely distorted version of the needed model, even if you try to create all the needed relationships.

CONCLUSION

If we need to represent data, information, material or energy flows, or if we want to visualize states or structures of complex systems, in these ore many other cases, concept maps would be the right answer.
" [from mentalwaves]
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Mindjet

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"To avoid confusion:

I'm not against Mind Maps, which are VERY useful for simple daily tasks and quick and simple brainstorming.

I'm against the inefficient/ineffective approach: Mind Maps in all situations." [from mentalwaves]
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Mindjet

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"I just commented the need for concept maps from the point of view of a creator of maps. But a further very important aspect is, how able are our maps to transport the ideas to other persons, or even for us as info source.

And here we have the same problem. Because mind maps always look the same - being simple hierarchical constructs -, their structure simply doesn't transport any typical identifying features. My grandma's shopping list looks the same as my brother's holiday planning or any project management maps or whatever. We can just try to manipulate colors and add pictures and icons, but the most important element, the map structure itself is always the same.

So as well a foreign reader, as we ourselves stay there in front of similar looking things, but have to think about completely different situations.

This is not an ideal start point for effective thinking.
" [from mentalwaves]
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Mindjet

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"In an ideal case our concept maps would even exploit the possibilities of a 3D space. We would be able to create true 3D models and rotate and study them from all relevant perspectives, exactly what engineers, designers or architects usually do with new constructs, to better understand and improve them." [from mentalwaves]
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Paul Macey

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I agree with this need to show relationships between equal-level topics; one suggestion is a new type of connection which is between equal level root/floating topics, or multiple root topics.
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Tony Appleby

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I do have to admit, it would be exceptionally nice to have a tool that allows for the decomposition of a work breakdown structure AND THEN allows us to create some precedence mapping from the objects. Being able to develop a PERT / network diagram / CPM analysis in a visual format would be invaluable.
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John

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I'm looking to do some basic flow charting with MM, and i think that your idea of concept maps would fit this. ie - creating a mapthat shows the flow of a project from start finish, or that describes how someone can complete a task from start to finish, similar to a basic visio.

I have heard the following argument : that mindmaps are for capturing and organising information

What i want to do is to capture the information, then organise it as a process/flow diagram!

One of the main reasons i picked MM over some others is that it gives a lot of control and options on how you export your data, so being able to create a flow diagram then export that to visio would fit in well with that.

currently i'm trying to use free-floating nodes, with boundaries and relationships, but it means i lose a level of hierarchy within the map. and it's quite cumbersome.
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Patrick Duffy

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PERT Charts are a definite need for me.
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Rob Tosatto

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I agree that concept mapping would be an extremely helpful addition to the MM capabilities. Much of the information I need to map is based on matrices, not straight line hierarchies. I have tried using free-floating nodes as well, and agree that it is very cumbersome.

I've asked for this from our MM rep for the past several years.
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andrew capey

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Use the right tool for the right job. So MM are fine for anything that can be broken down into a hierarchy - products, tasks, knowledge. (Although the latter begins to fail for rich data).
Similarly I have yet to find a way to represent a matrix in MM - it is simply a data structure that does not map to the core design of mind maps.
So if you want a means to map concepts (effectively) then suggest use of a CASE tool or a wiki.
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bch lawrence

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There are some open source/ free-for-money programs for concept maps.

So do you tried and could suggest some for us?

thx
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Patrick Duffy

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I have switched to iMindmap after nearly 20 years as a Mindmanager User (since it was available). It has a flowchart function which pretty much fulfills the PERT requirement
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Nick Duffill, Champion

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There is now an add-in for MindManager 9, MindManager 2012 and Mindjet 11 for Windows that will draw Concept Maps, simple flow charts and block diagrams in the map canvas, using standard floating topics. This gives you a choice between different visualisations in the map to describe more complex relationships.

http://www.olympic-limited.co.uk/add-...
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bch lawrence

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Indeed using "floating topics" only I could do the concept map.

Every "node" is a floating topic, if you want to connect two node,
use "relationship". If you want some texts for the connection,
add a "node" there, then change that node's color to differ from the topics.

Some commercial add-in seems do the same,
but they may add some function e.g. they help to layout the concept map better becoz in my way, if you want to re-arrange
the nodes, you have to re-arrange all by hand.

lastly, the way I did is compatible with xmind.
i.e. using xmind to open the floating topics,
they are still there, almost 0% data lost.

I use almost, it's becoz the colors did changed a little bit,
and the location of the topics are changed.