The Evolution of the Visual Mapper

September 21st, 2010

The world of mapping information uses a mismash of terms, like “concept mapping,” “mind mapping,” “visual mapping,” and “radial mapping.” These all mean essentially the same thing — representing information visually, in nuggets of information. There’s a history behind each term, for example, Tony Buzan developed a hand-drawn genre which he calls “mind maps”; and [...]

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 [...]

ReVisioning Trees

July 27th, 2010

A new blog post on the Shape of Thought blog takes an illustrated look at various trees which have appeared and reappeared in visual representations over the centuries. This complements some interesting pages on our SpicyNodes site on navigating maps, natural spaces, and browsing hierarchies. The tree is history’s most enduring symbol, one that demonstrates [...]

A Vue of Information

July 6th, 2010

The Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is an Open Source visualization system for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s a concept and content mapping application specifically designed for educational settings. The team at Tuft University, who developed VUE with funding from the Mellon Foundation, call their visualizations “content maps” because nodes can be linked to various kinds [...]

iThoughtsHD for the iPad

May 24th, 2010

Kudos to the developers of iThoughtsHD for the iPad, which brings mind mapping capabilities to the iPad. iThoughtsHD builds upon the company’s iThoughts for iPhone, and is among the most popular iPad apps currently available. The need for concept mapping is very real (especially for those who think in a nonlinear way or who think [...]


Stuff We Like: Climate Change Mind Maps

May 21st, 2010

2Randall Hand over at VizWorld recently posted about LearningFundamentals’ mind maps on climate change. Global warming and the environment are critical issues that impact the well-being of people across the globe, yet people often think about climate change in an abstract way. LearningFundamentals has done an excellent job in visualizing the ways that students and adults can change their behavior, can connect with nature, and can learn about the science of global warming.

Ready, Set, Learn! Concept Maps in the Classroom

March 26th, 2010

Bridging the Gap, which is dedicated to translating educational research into practical strategies for the classroom, recently published a piece on concept mapping and learning. Drawing on the research of Boxtel, Linden, Roelfs, and Erkens (2002), “Collaborative Concept Mapping: Provoking and Supporting Meaningful Discourse,” Bridging the Gap discusses the value of collaborative concept mapping.

Great Adaptations: Transforming Web Content into a Nodemap

March 10th, 2010

SpicyNodes can be used for many different purposes – from sitemaps and concept maps to highly technical visualizations and creative poetry. I’ve had the privilege of working on what might be called, for lack of a better term, content portals. It’s an exciting, exacting, and sometimes exasperating process of adapting existing narrative web content into nodemap form. (You can check out the four nodemaps I’ve adapted by visiting Daylight Saving Time, Poetry through the Ages, and Calendars through the Ages.)

Welcome to the SpicyNodes Blog!

March 2nd, 2010

Welcome to the SpicyNodes blog, where we’ll be putting a cool twist on visualizing information. If you haven’t tried SpicyNodes yet, you don’t want to miss out. You can register for a free individual membership [] and, within a few minutes, you can start adding zest to your own blog, to your concept maps, or to your sitemap.