Edward Tolman: Pioneering Cognitive Mapping

September 6th, 2010

When you use SpicyNodes for concept mapping, it feels right. That’s by design. It feels natural because the linked nodes largely mimic the way the brain works.

But while linking prior knowledge to form new connections seems intuitive, this process wasn’t acknowledged until the mid-20th century, when cognitive behavioral psychologist Edward Tolman coined the term “cognitive mapping” in a 1948 paper published in The Psychological Review.


Tube map: 500 Years of Science, Reason & Critical Thinking

September 2nd, 2010

Map of science, in the style of a tube map, by Crispian Jago. August 2010.

Seeking to convey 500 years of science, Crispian Jago got inspired to follow the style of the iconic London Tube Map.

The map primarily includes modern scientists who have made significant advances to our understanding of the world, however I have also included many present day scientists who fuel a passion for, and advances in, science through communication and science popularisation.

Check out Crispian’s full map in his blog. And more after the jump…


Give people the information they want (Venn diagram)

August 31st, 2010

The online comic xkcd looks at typical university web site:

Don’t let this classic problem happen to your site! With SpicyNodes, your visitors can quickly click to the information they need. And when you design your nodes, make sure the first orbit of nodes is the information people really want. After the jump, is another diagram of a “typical” law firm site.


Like us on Facebook

August 24th, 2010

SpicyNodes is on Facebook. Like us, and we’ll update you on blog posts and other delicious morsels of news of interest. See our Facebook stream, or our Facebook page.  And tell your friends. :)

Radial tree of life

August 23rd, 2010

David M. Hillis, Derrick Zwickl, and Robin Gutell, at University of Texas created an amazing tree of life, which is displayed radially. We learned of this via PZ Myers, a biologist, associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and blogger — who recently wrote about their Radial tree of life because he uses their amazing graphic in his talks and presentations.

This tree is from an analysis of small subunit rRNA sequences sampled from about 3,000 species from throughout the Tree of Life.


SpicyNodes Gets a Nod from Instructional Design Fusions

August 18th, 2010
Thanks to Dianne Rees over at ATOMIC MEME for her shout out to SpicyNodes on the Instructional Design Fusions blog. She walked her readers through the simple steps of creating a course outline using SpicyNodes, and noted that SpicyNodes works well as an instructional design tool. She said, in part:
“In addition to creating a basic course outline, you can also use it to outline the actual design elements of a course, collecting ideas, fonts, images, and videos, using it to create a radial storyboard….You can get your learners hooked on using mindmaps with SpicyNodes. There’s essentially no learning curve required and it’s a great way to encourage learners to brainstorm and organize their thoughts and resources at the same time….Because of the radial nature of SpicyNodes, it’s also an interesting storytelling tool. For example, you can use it to create flash fiction, using each node to tell a story from a different point of view.”

Tutorial: Mashup with Google Maps

August 9th, 2010

SpicyNodes soars to new heights when combined with other web services. These web services could be features of your own site, or another site, and the resulting “mashup”  is more than the sum of its parts. Check out a demonstration mashup of SpicyNodes with Google Maps. It shows you how SpicyNodes can control another system, and vice versa.

How can you use SpicyNodes on your site to make something fresh?


Tutorial: Fruit cocktail

August 5th, 2010

Once you’ve gotten a taste of writing nodemaps, you’ll find it’s fun any easy. In this post, we’ll guide you through the steps of writing a straightforward nodemap about fruit that follows a “table of contents” style. (Also, check out our author’s tutorial.)


MindMeister for the iPad

August 4th, 2010

Hot on the heels of iTHoughtsHD, the folks at MindMeister have just released an iPad version. MindMeister is a collaborative mind mapping tool for creating mindmaps. The MindMeister mind maps spread out from a home node, and users (and authors) can expand and collapse sections of the mindmap. Like SpicyNodes, MindMeister users can share their maps publicly or collaboratively edit. The key difference is that with SpicyNodes, you can put a lot of content (including images and videos) in your nodes, and while navigating your nodes, users click from node to node, with the layout continually changing as your focus moves from node to node.



Mapping the brain at IBM

July 30th, 2010

SpicyNodes is designed to match how our brains process information, but how does that really work? The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published Tuesday a landmark paper entitled “Network architecture of the long-distance pathways in the macaque brain” (an open-access paper) by Modha and Singh”

“We have successfully uncovered and mapped the most comprehensive long-distance network of the Macaque monkey brain, which is essential for understanding the brain’s behavior, complexity, dynamics and computation,” Dr. Modha says. “We can now gain unprecedented insight into how information travels and is processed across the brain.