Last night I learned that the way I was trying to represent my idea of a visual thinking taxonomy was called a Concept Map. I had thought that a mind map would work and had started one in SpinScape, hoping to get some collaboration on it. Sadly, the collaboration hasn’t really happened. And, I was really wanting to annotate the relationships between the entities in the diagram, which I couldn’t see that I could do in SpinScape – maybe you can, I just didnt’ see it.

I’ve used Entity Relationship Diagrams in the past and that was really what I was wanting to do. I showed a sketch to my wife and she replied, “Oh, that’s a concept map. There’s a free concept mapping tool you can download that you could do that in and I’ve got some information about concept maps on my web site.” My wife has a lot more time and experience in the visual thinking world than I do.

So, I found the software last night, from CMap Tools, downloaded and it installed it. Didn’t even get a chance to open it up and play with it until about 20 minutes ago. So far I like it. I’m not one to read user manuals unless I absolutely have to so I just began clicking around. It’s pretty intuitive. Within about 15 minutes, I had the following concept map of my idea of a visual thinking taxonomy.
It’s still a work in progress (both the concept map and the taxonomy). I’d like to identify more of what I’m calling the disciplines of visual thinking and then start in on defining the methods and tools used. I don’t know about anyone else, but understanding how all these various components of visual thinking relate will help me understand it better. And I think it could be useful to explain to those who are new to the idea of visual thinking. Any suggestions or comments on the taxonomy are welcome.