Mind Map

A Mind Map is a hierarchical Concept Map with a central node.

The user writes down a central concept and then adds related concepts around this map with lines pointing to them.

Origins

The term “mind map” was introduced by British popular psychology author and television personality Tony Buzan. He produces a mind mapping app called iMIndMap https://imindmap.com

The term was introduced during a 1974 BBC TV show called Use Your Head where he promoted his idea of a radial tree, diagramming key words in a colorful, radiant, tree-like structure.

Inspiration

Buzan says the idea was inspired by Alfred Korzybski’s general semantics as popularized in science fiction novels, such as those of Robert A. Heinlein and A. E. van Vogt.

He argues that while “traditional” outlines force readers to scan left to right and top to bottom, readers actually tend to scan the entire page in a non-linear fashion.

Notes

Mind-mapping is an established technique for brainstorming, outlining, note taking and clustering. Mind-maps are however not suitable for relational structures between items because they are constrained to the hierarchical model. Heiko Haller, ‘User Interfaces for Personal Knowledge Management with Semantic Technologies, 2011