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Vic Gee

I couldn't agree more, and I think the person most guilty of not recognizing 'horses for courses' is Tony Buzan. His pronouncements on mind mapping(R) can be taken as authoritative - after all he invented the term. But most of the time he talks as if people who used mind mapping in school and college never use it for anything else but learning.

And yet there are hundreds of thousands of people using 'mindmaps' in business (based on licences sold for Mind Manager, and that's just one package). I've put 'mindmaps' in quotes because Buzan dismisses them as not being mindmaps.
I doubt whether many of those hundreds of thousands would agree with him, judging by what we see all over the Web. It seems that he is pushing against a tsunami that he, more than anyone, started in the first place.

Tim van Gelder

"Beyond Mind Mapping" is a good name because it helps break down the idea that Mind Maps, or "mind mapping" software, is the be-all and end-all of "fast and easy graphical organisation of information". Our own product, Rationale, is a tool for hierarchically structuring information, focusing on arguments - i.e., argument mapping, as we call it. The problem is that, as you point out, "there is no other category that is as clearly recognised by the reviewers or potential users". So to explain what argument mapping is, we sometimes have to say "like mind mapping, but...". However this immediately loads into the hearer's mind a lot of preconceptions about what sort of product or graphic we're talking about. The over-arching category, perhaps, is something like "graphical organisation of information networks", where a mind map (loosely speaking) is just one kind of information network, i.e. hierarchy laid out radially, and a Mind Map is a more particular category again. If anyone can think of a sexier phrase than ""graphical organisation of information networks" please let us know!

João Leitão

Why don`t you call it, Cognitive Mapping? I`ll create a blog to agregate the research in Psychology related to Cognitive Mapping...


I like the distinction between Mind Maps as created by Tony Buzan and the term “Mind Mapping software” and I think it is important to stress the difference. In Germany I try to advocate the term “Business Mapping Software” as used by Mindjet to make the distinction between Mind Maps and Business Maps more obvious. Otherwise it could imply that using software is just another way of creating Mind Maps.

I totally agree that it depends on the purpose when to use Mind Maps and when to use Business Maps. Although (as one commenter already pointed out) it is like fighting against a tsunami, I think it is important to stress that difference. If something wrong is repeated over and over again that does not make it right!

I am looking forward to read more.

Nick Duffill

João - the reason not to call it anything else is because people now search for "mind mapping" tools. If you called it Cognitive Mapping, it might be a theoretically better name, but nobody would find you. Is it better to be right, or alive? :)

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