Concept Maps Visualise Interconnected Ideas

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What are Concept Maps?

Concept maps are made by linking ideas together by lines. Concepts can be links by multiple lines to other concepts. It depicts suggested relationships between concepts, used by designers, engineers, technical writers, and others use to organize and structure knowledge. Concept mapping was first used back in the 1970s by Joseph D. Novak and a research team at Cornell University. It was used to visualise the emerging science knowledge by various students at the school. Since then, it has gone on to become a popular system within a wide range of industries.

How are Concept Maps Useful?

These diagrams are extremely useful for those who work with quite a large amount of data or those who need to find a relationship between different concepts. By creating concept maps, designers and engineers are able to visualise the different aspects of a project and link important elements together. It is believed that concept mapping can aid creativity and also to put forward complex ideas.

How to Use Concept Maps

There are a variety of ways you are able to use concept mapping in a design or engineering process, as well as in various other applications. Here are a few examples of how to use concept maps:

  • Use to take notes and to establish key concepts
  • Training and new knowledge creation
  • Creating a shared vision within a team or group
  • Putting forward complex ideas, thoughts and arguments
  • For research and building up knowledge of a subject
  • To establish a relationship between concepts and ideas

Plus many others. You can write out a concept map on a large piece of paper, if you require something basic. However, there are also various tools available that can make the process easier.

A piece of software for this purpose is Cmaps.