This www page has been consolidated in respect to Jan Lanzing who died on March 3, 1997.

The Concept Mapping Homepage

What is Concept Mapping ?

Concept mapping is a technique for representing knowledge in graphs. Knowledge graphs are networks of concepts. Networks consist of nodes (points/vertices) and links (arcs/edges). Nodes represent concepts and links represent the relations between concepts.

 Concepts and sometimes links are labeled. Links can be non-, uni- or bi-directional. Concepts and links may be categorised, they can be simply associative, specified or divided in categories such as causal or temporal relations.

 Concept mapping can be done for for several purposes:

The concept mapping technique was developed by Prof. Joseph D. Novak at Cornell University in the 1960s. This work was based on the theories of David Ausubel, who stressed the importance of prior knowledge in being able to learn about new concepts. Novak concluded that "Meaningful learning involves the assimilation of new concepts and propositions into existing cognitive structures".

 Mind Mapping® is a popular related technique, invented (and copyrighted) by Tony Buzan in the UK. He describes mind maps as: "a mind map consists of a central word or concept, around the central word you draw the 5 to 10 main ideas that relate to that word. You then take each of those child words and again draw the 5 to 10 main ideas that relate to each of those words."

 The difference between concept maps and mind maps is that a mind map has only one main concept, while a concept map may have several. This comes down to the point that a mind map can be represented as a tree, while a concept map may need a network representation.

An example Concept Map

Here is an example of a concept map. In this example the nodes are labeled, the links are also labeled and uni-directional.

Example concept map

 This one was made using CMap on the Macintosh.