Human evolution mind map

I’m probably one of the first who created mind maps that do not start from the centre (see How to create a tree with a mind map) or do not contain obvious main branches (see How to create a timeline with a mind map). Other mind mappers such as Hans Buskes or Patrick Zimbardo have recently produced nice out-of-the-box mind maps as well. They bring a great contribution in the domain.
So why should I limit myself to draw mind maps that radiate only from a single and central point if I obtain interesting results with an extended approach? For example, this typical mind map about the brain (see picture) actually hides 2 basic ordering ideas (“Left” and “Right”) because of the central image. Note that although it may simplify the overall layout of the mind map or the generation of secondary level branches, it's also limiting the creation of new main ordering ideas (which could be an obstacle during the generative thinking process).
Thinking further, I can imagine starting a mind map with 3, 4, 5 or even more hidden main branches, either because they are implicitly expressed by the central image or because it makes the mind map more readable. Going even further, I can imagine that the central shape outline (triangle, square or more complex ones) is an open line or a curve that contains a couple of points from where I would like to start radiating and organising the information. The central idea and the main branches become invisible and implicit as shown on the figure here below.
In order to better illustrate the concept, I can give you a couple of practical examples:
  • Analyse and/or compare the offer of a triple-play provider

Provider offer mind map

  • Teach and discuss the main evolution of man on a timeline

Human evolution mind map
  • Present a product line-up

Product line-up mind map

And I let you imagine what could be:
  • Capturing, analysing and debriefing player performance on a basketball field
  • Coach your rally champion about the characteristic of each curve of a rally race route
  • Explain the water cycle phases from a nice 3D picture
  • ...
Isn’t it the most important? RADIATING around a thought, a concept, a word, an idea, etc... and keep everything CONNECTED. Whether it is starting from the first level or deeper in the structure, we are still generating and connecting ideas and keywords together. Isn’t it the essence of mind mapping? I often hear that it is difficult to identify the main branches (Basic Ordering Ideas). An alternative is to consider them implicitly belonging to the centre of the map (and its image) or maybe not consider them at all in order to start directly at a deeper level.

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