Why mindmaps are limited and could be called "outline maps", why concept maps add a dimension, and why Prezi adds more dimensions, making it more of a mind map than most prior tools.
- The purpose of intelligence is prediction (Venessa Miemis)
- The analytic mind we use daily thinks in concepts, feelings, and in rich imagery,
along similarities and differences.
- Intelligence comprises the capability to assign relative importance.
- The better the information management tool we use matches our thinking habits, the easier and more intuitive it is to get results with it.
To begin sorting out a few of the major differences between popular information presentation tools, I made the image below, using the free concept mapping tool by IHMC. It is a work in progress. I could not upload a shared version to the ihmc server, so I attach the file below. Sorry, this makes collaboration more difficult.
From this exercise and work in progress, I conclude:
Mindmaps are fine for rather linear issues and media, like books. Like outlines and folders, they impose folder limitations: An issue can only go into folder A or folder B, not in both. Hyperlinking to avoid duplication is a workaround.
Concept maps resemble tagging solutions. Information can appear in different context and relations, as indicated by multiple lines converging on a concept.Prezi offers a great method to visualize goals with a path, an element other visualization tools are not really strong at.
If it is true the mind thinks mostly in images and feelings, and directs attention in nonlinear but relational jumps, Prezi's four dimensions represent an intuitive model coming close to way we think - by imagery arranged in 2D and presented with zoom and 2D transition along a timeline.
Because readers interested in specific information forage and filter as if in Levy Flight, the Prezi way of editing offers an intuitive navigation method.
What are your visual thinking tools? How do they help you?