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Mind map

Mind map

mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole. [1] It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which it is associated with images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.

Mind maps can be drawn by hand, or as “rough notes” during a lecture, meeting or planning session, for example, or as higher quality pictures when more time is available. Mind maps are considered to be a type of spider diagram . [2] A similar concept in the 1970s was “idea sun bursting “. [3]


ALTHOUGH the term “mind map” was first popularized by British popular psychology author and television personality Tony Buzan , the use of diagrams visually That “map” information and branching using radial maps traces back centuries. These pictorial methods record knowledge and model systems, and have a long history in learning, brainstorming , memory , visual thinking , and problem solving by educators, engineers, psychologists, and others. Some of the earliest examples of such graphical records were developed by Porphyry of Tyros, a noted thinker of the 3rd century, as he graphically visualized the conceptcategories of Aristotle . Philosopher Ramon Llull (1235-1315) also used such techniques.

The semantic network was developed in the late 1950s by Allan M. Collins and M. Ross Quillian during the early 1960s. Mind maps are similar in radial structure to concept maps , developed by learning experts in the 1970s, but differ in that the training is simplified by a single central key concept.

Popularization of the term “mind map”

Buzan’s specific approach, and the introduction of the “mind map” arose during a 1974 BBC TV series hosted, called Use Your Head . [4] [5] In this show, and companion book series, Buzan promoted his design of radial tree, diagramming key words in a colorful, radiant, tree-like structure. [6]

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 AE van Vogt . He argues that while “traditional” outlines, readers actually tend to scan the entire page in a non-linear fashion. Buzan’s treatment also uses the functions of the brain of hemispheres in order to explain the claim.

Mind map guidelines

Buzan suggests the following guidelines for creating mind maps:

  1. Start in the center with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colors.
  2. Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map.
  3. Select keywords and print using upper or lower case letters.
  4. Each word / image is best alone and sits on its own line.
  5. The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The lines become thinner as they radiate out of the center.
  6. Make the lines the same length as the word / image they support.
  7. Use multiple colors throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also for encoding or grouping.
  8. Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.
  9. Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.
  10. Keep the mind map clear by using radial radiance or outlines to embrace your branches.


As with other diagramming tools, mind maps can be used to generate , visualize , structure , and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying [7] and organizing information, solving problems , making decisions , and writing.

Examples of personal, family, educational , and business situations, including notetaking , brainstorming organizing is reserved for later stages), summarizing, as a technical mnemonic , or to get out of a complicated idea. Mind maps are also promoted to collaborate in color pen creativity sessions.

In addition to these direct use cases, data retrieved from mind maps can be used to enhance many other applications; for instance expert search systems , search engines and search and tag query [8] To do so, maps can be analyzed with other methods of information . [8]

Differences from other visualizations

  • Concept maps : Mind maps Differ from concept maps fait que mind maps focus is only one word or idea, whereas concept maps connect multiple words or ideas. Also, concept maps with their labels. Mind maps are based on radial hierarchies and tree structures denoting relationships with a central governing concept, while concept maps are based on connections between concepts in more diverse patterns. However, it can be part of a larger personal knowledge base system.
  • Modeling graphs : There is no rigorous right or wrong with mind maps, relying on the arbitrariness of mnemonic systems. A UML diagram or a semantic network with structured elements. This is done in black and white with a clear and agreed iconography. Mind maps serve a different purpose: they help with memory and organization. Mind maps are collections of words structured by the mental context of the author with visual mnemonics, and, through the use of color, icons and visual links, are informal and necessary to the proper functioning of the mind map.



Cunningham (2005) “Mindfulness of concepts and ideas in science”. [9] Other studies also report some subjective positive effects on the use of mind maps. [10] [11] Positive opinions on their effectiveness, however, were much more prominent among students of art and design than in those of computer and information technology, with 62.5% vs. 34% (respectively) agreeing that they were able to understand concepts. better with mind mapping software [10] . Farrand, Hussain, and Hennessy (2002) found that spider diagrams(similar to concept maps) had limited, but significant, impact on memory recall in undergraduate students (a 10% increase over baseline for a 600-word text only). [12] This improvement was only robust after a week for those in the graph and there was a significant decrease in motivation compared to the preferred methods of note taking. A meta study about concept mapping that is more effective than “reading text passages, attending readings, and participating in class discussions”. [13]The same study also concludes that concept mapping is more effective than other constructive activities such as writing summaries and outlines. However, results were inconsistent, with the authors noting “significant heterogeneity was found in most subsets”. In addition, they concluded that low-ability students can benefit from higher-ability students.

Features of mind maps

Beel & Langer (2011) conducted a comprehensive analysis of the content of mind maps. [14] They analyzed 19,379 mind maps from 11,179 users of mind mapping SciPlore MindMapping (now Docear) and MindMeister . Results include that average users create a few mind maps (mean = 2.7), average mind maps are rather small (31 nodes) with each node containing about 3 words (median). However, there were exceptions. One user created more than 200 mind maps, the largest mind map of 50,000 nodes and the largest node contained ~ 7500 words. The study also shows the difference in mind mapping (Docear vs. MindMeister ).

Automatic creation of mind maps

There have been some attempts to create mind maps automatically. Brucks & Schommer created mind maps from full-text streams. [15] Rothenberger et al. Extracted the main story of a text. [16] And there is a question about the creation of sub-topics in mind maps. [17]


Mind-mapping software can be used to organize large amounts of information, combining spatial organization, dynamic hierarchical structuring and node folding. Software packages can extend the concept of mind-mapping to the Internet, like spreadsheets, documents, Internet sites and images. [18] It has been suggested that mind-mapping can improve learning / study efficiency up to 15% over conventional note-taking . [12]

See also

  • Graph (discrete mathematics)
  • Idea
  • Mental literacy
  • Nodal organizational structure
  • Personal wiki
  • Rhizome (philosophy)
  • Social map
  • Spider mapping


  1. Jump up^ Carolyn H. Hopper, Practicing College Learning Strategies, 7th Edition,ISBN 9781305109599, Ch. 7
  2. Jump up^ “Mind Map noun – definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus – Cambridge Dictionaries Online” . Dictionary.cambridge.org . Retrieved 2013-07-10 .
  3. Jump up^ “Who invented mind mapping” . Mind-mapping.org . Retrieved 2013-07-10 .
  4. Jump up^ “Roots of visual mapping – The mind-mapping.org Blog” . Mind-mapping.org. 2004-05-23 . Retrieved 2013-07-10 .
  5. Jump up^ Buzan, Tony 1974. Use your head. London: BBC Books.
  6. Jump up^ Buzan mind mapping His invention claims in interview.KnowledgeBoardretrieved Jan. 2010.
  7. Jump up^ ‘Mind maps as active learning tools’, by Willis, CL. Journal of Computing Sciences in colleges. ISSN 1937-4771. 2006. Volume: 21 Issue: 4
  8. ^ Jump up to:b Beel Jöran; Gipp, Bela; Stiller, Jan-Olaf (2009). “Information Retrieval On Mind Maps – What Could It Be Good For?”. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing (CollaborateCom’09) . Washington: IEEE.
  9. Jump up^ Glennis Edge Cunningham (2005). Mindmapping: Its Effects on Student Achievement in High School Biology (PhD). The University of Texas at Austin.
  10. ^ Jump up to:b Brian Holland, Lynda Holland, Jenny Davies (2004). “An investigation into the concept of mind mapping and the use of mind mapping software to support and improve student academic performance”.
  11. Jump up^ From Antoni, AV, Zipp, GP (2006). “Applications of the Mind Map Learning Technique in Chiropractic Education: A Pilot Study and Literature”.
  12. ^ Jump up to:b Farrand, P .; Hussain, F .; Hennessy, E. (2002). “The efficacy of the mind map technical study” . Medical Education . 36 (5): 426-431. doi : 10.1046 / j.1365-2923.2002.01205.x . PMID  12028392 . Retrieved 2009-02-16 .
  13. Jump up^ Nesbit, JC, Adesope, OO (2006). “Learning with concept and knowledge maps: A meta-analysis”. Review of Educational Research . Sage Publications. 76 (3): 413. doi : 10.3102 / 00346543076003413 .
  14. Jump up^ Joeran Beel, Stefan Langer (2011). An Exploratory Analysis of Mind Maps. Proceedings of the 11th ACM Symposium on Document Engineering (DocEng’11) (PDF) . ACM . Retrieved 1 November 2013 .
  15. Jump up^ Claudine Brucks, Christoph Schommer (2008). “Assembling Actor-based Mind-Maps from Text Stream”. CoRR . abs / 0810.4616.
  16. Jump up^ Rothenberger, T, Oez, S, Tahirovic, E, Schommer, Christoph (2008). “Figuring out Actors in Text Streams: Using Collocations to Establish Incremental Mind-maps”. arXiv : 0803.2856  .
  17. Jump up^ Robert Plotkin (2009). “Software tool for creating outlines and mind maps that generate subtopics automatically”. USPTO Application: 20090119584 .
  18. Jump up^ Santos, Devin (15 February 2013). “Top 10 Totally Free Mind Mapping Software Tools” . IMDevin . Retrieved 10 July 2013 .