Knowledge Mappers 2.0 – #2 In Summary: Clearer, More Systematic Map Titles & Icons, A Lot More Maps (Especially In Support Of MindManager Users) And More Of Them For Free! (Oh And A Better Web Presence :-)

new_product_strategy_625x296

So last time we shared the results of our “honest and objective product review in an agile style“, and said that we’ve been using these to change the way we do things in something we have called Knowledge Mappers 2.0. In this post we’ll summarise what this means for end users (we’ll go into more detail about each aspect in subsequent posts).

 

New Map Naming System

What’s in a name? Everything if it’s a product you want for a specific purpose. That’s why we are very in favour of the “Does what is says in the tin” school of product naming.

Thus we have put a lot of thought into re-designing a system for naming our maps. Firstly it has to be robust enough to cope with the broad range of subject areas we will be covering with the new maps we will be publishing over the next few weeks.

Our naming system also needs to cope with the subtle variations between related maps, such as:-

  • the level of detail (ie. the number of hierarchical levels of map branches).
  • the layout of the branches (ie. how they are arranged around the central topic).
  • the number of information sources that the map links to (one web source or many?).

We will go into more detail about our map naming system in a later post, but an illustration of it can be found in the image that goes with this series of blog posts about Knowledge Mappers 2.0. So what was previously our “Countries of The World Template Atlas (Geographic Layout)” map, has now become the “Countries of the World Wikipedia Webmap (BASIC ATLAS Edition) map.

 

New Map Icons System

One of the problems with screenshots of maps (of any sort) is they all start to look the same when shrunk down to the size of a product thumbnail image (approximately 150 x 150 pixels). We therefore knew from the start of Knowledge Mappers that we needed a different way of visually representing the maps in our mapstore, and so we devised our own series of “hand drawn” 48 x 48 pixel icons, taking a lot of our inspiration from Dan Roam and his classic book “The Back of a Napkin“.

We also knew that it would be impossible to come up with a single icon that could denote all of the subtle variations in maps listed above, and so it has always been the case that 3 icons have been combined in order to represent any map (4 when you get down to representing different file formats of the same map). However they haven’t always been used consistently, and some of them weren’t the clearest.

We’ll go into more detail about our updated iconography system in a further blog post of it’s own, but we think it has resulted in a much more colourful store front and more of a visual continuity between the products. By way of illustration we once again use the example shown in the header image for this post:-

new_product_strategy_625x296

More Maps

We found that, once we had thought through a future-proof system for naming our products and visually representing them so they can be added to our store, all the other processes  became much, much easier. We had created a ‘big picture’ framework, within which everything done so far, and crucially not yet done, could be placed. Thus we could see:-

  • related maps we could do around an existing subject category to ‘fill in the gaps’.
  • the same related series of maps. but for new subject categories.

Basically we can start making a lot more maps, confident of the whole end-to-end process from initial idea in our head (and there are a lot of those!), to final mapstore product, to marketing message to existing and potential customers.

Again we will go into more detail about our strategy for making the maps that we do in a later post. For now though look at our Coming Soon category page on the website. It lists all our maps that are currently “in production”, with the list greatly expanding over the last couple of weeks as we’ve been getting our mojo on!

product_review_comingsoon_900x730

 

More Free Maps

We have always offered free maps, but after our agile review identified that we haven’t added one to the catalogue in quite a while, we decided we needed to change our publishing model. We have now consciously adopted the freemium model. This means offering more basic, “taster” versions of our maps for free to get users started on using the great online resources we have discovered and mapped. By “basic maps” we mean fewer branches and less levels of detail.

We have yet to implement this for all the existing maps in the catalogue but will do when they are next updated. We are doing this for all the new maps we add to the store (see our new MindManager User Resource Maps below). Again we will blog about this on more detail soon but for now checkout our free maps page and get downloading!

product_review_free_900x730

 

Expanded MindManager User Resources Pages On Our Website

As experienced MindManager users we realised that there were a lot of supporting resources out there if you know where to look. However there wasn’t one place on the web where these were all documented together, so we decided to do it. Thus we now have a greatly expanded MindManager resources section on our website, with dedicated pages containing comprehensive information and all the links we could find about:-

product_review_mindmanager_resources_pages_900x700

 

MindManager & Zapier Software Shop Categories On Our Mapstore

We have created dedicated sub-categories for MindManager and Zaper in the software category of our online store. (One of the most significant features of MindManager 2017 is the integration with the Zapier online app integration webservice to enable the automation of individual tasks and whole work-flow processes).

product_review_mindmanager_category_900x730

These provide a home for….

 

MindManager & Zapier User Resource Webmaps

The process of creating our MindManager webpages confirmed 2 things for us:-

  1. there are a lot of MindManager user resources out there.
  2. traditional webpages, with their fixed linear structure and navigation, and endless, endless scrolling, are not the best way of documenting a lot of information resources for general discovery.

It was time to test out our new Knowledge Mappers 2.0 map making process! And what better way for MIndManager users to discover MIndManager supporting resources than through a MindManager map -  as we have always said “drill down, don’t scroll down people!”

We had used MindManager to fully map all the resource links for the newly expanded MindManager section of our website (naturally!), it’s only a few thousand links after all. So it was straightforward to turn the map into a product to add to our mapstore – our MindManager Online Resources Webmap (FULL Edition) map.

product_review_mindmanager_resources_webmap_full_900x680

As per our new map-making system, we also:-

Again we will blog in more detail about these new map products in the near future, but in the meanwhile please download our MindManager & Zapier User Resource maps and ‘get stuck in’, that’s what they’re there for! :-)

 

Expanded MindManager Services Pages On Our Website

One of the problems (in a good way :-) ) with MindManager is that it is so useful and can expedite so many different, every-day business tasks and processes, that it’s difficult to pin down with words every way in which we can help clients get the best from it.

Our expanding map catalogue shows what we are doing with information in the public domain for public benefit. It also shows what the benefits could be for clients by mapping their own business information. We’ve tried our best to sum it all up in our expanded MindManager Services section of the website.

product_review_mindmanager_services_pages_900x480

 

A Better, More Expanded Web Presence

Finally (for now), we’ve been working on our web presence. As you can see from the above we’ve done a great deal to expand the content of our main website at www.knowledgemappers.com. However our agile review showed us that we still needed to improve several aspects of our web presence:-

Make our website mobile friendly - Our current website is starting to show its age. It is pre-HTML5 so isn’t responsive and isn’t very mobile friendly. It’s a major job changing architectures for a customised digital download store like ours, but it is on our development roadmap. Just bear with us!

Become more social - We have had a presence on social media, but it’s fair to say we haven’t really been doing much with it whilst we have been concentrating on the back-office stuff. Now that we’ve got something to say though we have re-energised our efforts on social media so we now have:-

product_review_pinterest_900x1544

 

Keep watching those skies people!

watch_the_skies_980x400

 

Next Time - Knowledge Mappers 2.0 – #3 Our New Range Of Map Types In Brief

 

Knowledge Mappers 2.0 – #1 You Need To Know Where You Are Now Before You Can Move To A Better Place! [Company News]

new_product_strategy_625x296

As we blogged yesterday, MindManager has got it’s mojo back and there’s loads of new possibilities for the 2 million worldwide users opening up as a result. Not the least of these is in the realm of publishing and sharing of information in map form, which observant viewers will notice is very much our “schtick;-) ).

However before we recommenced our quest to “boldly go where no information map cartographer has gone before“, we thought it would be a sensible idea to review everything we have done so far, but with our agile business hats on. For us this meant viewing all our output from an end users perspective honestly and objectively, as well as reviewing all the back-office work-flow processes involved and asking ourselves if we could work smarter.

Oh yes whilst not losing our passion for why we were doing all this in the first place in the process ….

 

The Product Review Part 1 – Our products from an end-user perspective

product_review_maps_900x700

After looking at our products honestly and objectively from an end users perspective, we concluded that:-

  • for a map publishing business, new maps were not added to the catalogue very often.
  • our map titles did not always refelct the specific contents of the map accurately enough.
  • the syntax of our map titles (ie. our product names) could be more systematic, and could also be more consistent so that the way in which one map differs from another, which can be very subtle, is more obvious to the user. For example maps may have the same content but be arranged in a different layout eg. a pseudo-geapgraphic (“ATLAS”) layout with branches that go in all directions from the central topic in a way that mimics a traditional geographic map, versus an alphabetical (“A-Z”) by name layout with branches that go to the right only of the central topic.
  • the icons used to visually represent the maps in our catalogue do not always convey the content to potential users well.
  • as with the titles, the product icons have not always been used consistently and so though some maps may be related in terms of their content and / or structure, you couldn’t always tell that from the product icons.
  • not all maps have product videos and for those that do, sometimes the video is too long and too detailed (it takes a long time to make a short video!).
  • we hadn’t added any new free maps to the catalogue for quite some time.
  • users weren’t always informed of when new products were added to the store,
  • users couldn’t always tell what maps were coming down the line. Sometimes maps had been added straight to the catalogue without apprearing in the Coming Soon category first.
  • there was no public statement of our overall product strategy, explaining why we were choosing to do particular maps and not others, or what the framework was that the maps slotted into.
  • the same goes for a product pricing strategy.
  • probably a couple of other things, but lets not be too hard on ourselves…;-)

 

The Product Review Part 2 – Our products from a back-office perspective

product_review_back-office_900x700

We then looked at our products from our own, “back office” perspective, ie. everything we had to do to get a map product in our mapstore. We realised that:-

  • our development hard drive is full of very useful maps that we have made over the years that have never been published in our store catalogue, even though they would be of great use to loads of other people.
  • the reason that maps have not been published is that there are a lot of different tasks that need be done in order to turn an information map we have created for ourselves into a proper information product that can be added to our online mapstore and confidently used by anybody.
  • individually (let alone all together) these tasks can take a lot longer to complete than it took to map the information in the first place! Product descriptions & metadata, product images, product demonstration / instruction videos, marketing copy (such as blog posts) etc., all require their own specific skill sets with their own specific “modes of operation”. If you are in full MindManager map making mode, capturing 1000′s of branches of information and “cartographising” it for optimum end-user knowledge transfer, you cannot easily just switch to planning / writing marketing copy, or wrestling with the back-end of your online shop software!.
  • these tasks are also interdependant ie. they have to happen in a particular order. You can’t create a portfolio of compelling product images, or a detailed product description, or a compelling but concise product demo video, before the actual map is finished!
  • there’s no point in just dusting all these maps off and rushing them onto “the shelves” without a coherent overall product strategy.
  • our product strategy would have to be applied retrospectively to all the existing maps in the store before adding new products.
  • all this is going to take quite a lot of man-hours so we need to buy another box of double-ended candles, and why not a few bottles of midnight oil as well ;-)

Well those are the “highlights” of our honest and objective (brutal?), agile self-examination. However the point of this post is not to leave you hanging in despair, but to give you the background on the changes to come. The changes we are calling Knowledge Mappers 2.0.

And it’s all good!

Keep watching those skies people!

watch_the_skies_980x400

 

Next Time - Knowledge Mappers 2.0 – #2 In Summary: Clearer, More Systematic Map Titles & Icons, A Lot More Maps (Especially In Support Of MindManager Users) And More Of Them For Free! (Oh And A Better Web Presence :-) )

MindManagers New Mojo – 17.1 Released & The Story So Far [MindManager News]

bn_mindmanager_2017_728x90_en_v5a_winbn_mindmanager_2017_728x90_en_v5a_mac

You may have noticed that MindManager has got a new “mojo goin’ on”, with a huge “buzz” around the MindManager universe over the last few months. The latest news to come out of Mindjet is that the first update of MindManager 2017 for Windows (version 17.1) has now been released (you can download it from the support page here).

Here at Knowledge Mappers we’ve been very busy keeping up with developments, and channeling some of that new vibe into developing & expanding our range of MindManager resources and services and giving our own mojo a bit of a boost. This has meant we’ve been pretty quiet as far as blogging goes, but all that’s about to change. Before we make any announcements of our own though, in this post I want to recap the MindManager 2017 story so far so we’re all up to speed (and show off one of the new product features – the Timeline Layout applied to our Standard Calendar – in the process!).

 

MindManager 2017 – Timeline Of Important Events

blog_mindmanager2017_timeline

Aug 9 - Mindjet & MindManager bought by the Corel Corporation. With hindsight this should not have been a surprise as Mindjet had been internally de-merging the MindManager & Spigit Engage businesses for quite some time beforehand (official Mindjet Blog announcement).

Aug 30 - Beta versions of MindManager 2017 for Windows and MindManager 10.5 for Mac released to Mindjet International Value Added Partners (MIVAPs) for evaluation and feedback. As this is the most major version release for quite some time, Beta Testing was a busy time for us all as we got to grips with the great new features whilst at the same time planning how they could be incorporated into our products and services for the future benefit of our customers.

Sep - Weekly “Sneak Peek” blog posts by Michael Deutch, VP of Products at Mindjet, showcasing one of the new features of MIndManager 2017:-

Oct 5 - MindManager 2017 For Windows released to public (official Mindjet Blog announcement)

Oct 6 - MindManager 10.5 For Mac released to public (official Mindjet Blog announcement)

Oct 11 - MindManager 2017 For Windows very favourably releview by The MindMapping Software Blog

Dec 7 - Update For MindManager 2017 For Windows released (MindManager Version 17.1 )

 

Knowledge Mappers New Mojo

As we have said already MindManager 2017 is the most major version release of MindManager for quite some time and it opens up great new possibilities for users, not the least of which is for information map publishing and sharing (which we are very keen on ;-) ). Thus over the next couple of weeks we’ve got a whole bunch of announcements to make about a whole bunch of exciting new Knowledge Mappers products and services we have been working on over the last few months and can now finally be shared.

Watch the skies people….

watch_the_skies_980x400

 

Next Time - Knowledge Mappers 2.0 - #1 You Need To Know Where You Are Now Before You Can Move To A Better Place!

 

PS – You can subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog here (or from the menu options on the right side of the page) and be automatically notified of new updates as soon as they are posted.

 

We Now Take Payments By Paypal [Site News]

Knowledge Mappers is pleased to announce that, in response to requests from our customers, we have now added a Paypal payment option to the checkout in our online store at www.knowledgemappers.com. This will enable customers to make purchases using their paypal account, or making a card payment through the paypal gateway. Customers will continue to have the option of using our secure card payment gateway operated by FirstData.

We also accept payment directly into our account by bank transfer as a 3rd payment option on the checkout. For corporate / government / institutional customers, we can also accept purchase orders and we will invoice you. Please contact us to discuss as your requirements.

Knowledge Mappers New Calendar Maps Take Advantage Of MindManagers Unique Information Mapping Functionality Up Until 2030 [New & Updated Maps]

BANNER_Calendars_927x211

Last October we blogged about the expansion of our catalogue of calendar maps. Well we’ve just finished another calendar “map sprint” and we have dramatically expanded it again. At the same time we took the opportunity to enhance all our calendar maps to take advantage of MindManagers unique embedded spreadsheet functionality, making them even more versatile in helping users plan ahead and have their best, most organised (and most informed!) years ever!

 

Purpose of Our Calendar Maps
First off though a quick review of the benefits of our calendar maps for those who haven’t yet discovered them. Their purposes is at least 3-fold (but we’re sure you can think of more):-

  • Stand-Alone Calendars – They can be used as stand-alone calendar maps to record whatever you would want to in as much chronological detail as you require, be it for work, family, hobbies, personal journal or blog, whatever.
  • Source Templates – They can be used as a source template to add calendar branches to other maps. The fact that entries can incorporate hyperlinks to websites or other documents, text and images as well as extracts from other maps, and that significant public events are already listed (even for events that shift around the calendar every year eg. Easter), makes it a very powerful tool for self-organisation, forward planning and time management. Just as importantly though it will serve as a fantastic historical record of your year, not to mention digital archiving tool.
  • Public Education Resources – Users can discover further information about the public events in the world and perhaps make a connection that they wouldn’t otherwise have done.

Since we first created them though the basic design hasn’t changed much, so we thought to ourselves “this time round, how can we make our calendar maps even better? What additional elements of all the great (and incidentally unique amongst information mapping software) Mindmanager functionality can we incorporate into them to make the user experience even better?” Well …..

 

New Embedded Spreadsheet Monthly Calendars

Blog_Toggle2

Now you see it, now you don’t! Embedded spreadsheets can be easily hidden and shown in MindManager by clicking on the wee toggle arrow on the right of the topic.

Each monthly main branch in all our calendar maps now has an embedded spreadsheet calendar showing the whole month in a traditional calendar grid layout. This utilises one of MindManagers unique topic properties funtions that enables users to embed spreadsheets of their own design (amongst other types of data objects) into topic branches. This greatly enhances the utility of the Calendar Map:-

  • At-a-glance overview of the month - The more “conventional” grid layout provides a complete overview of the month in a single galnce.
  • More recording options - An embedded spreadsheet gives users an additional space in which to record time-based information. For example users could block off personal dates in the embedded calendar such as kids school holidays etc,. and use the days of the month sub-branches for “work”.
  • More information mapping functionality options - Take advantage of spreadsheet functionality like adding comments to individual cells on the calendar grid.
  • Easy Hide and Show toggle - All Topic Properties in MindManager (such as embedded spreadsheets) have a simple hide/show toggle arrow on the topic. Thus these extra calendars don’t take up any extra screen space, simply hide them if they are not required.

As with every aspect of our maps, users are free to adapt the look and layout to suit themselves.

 

Expanded Time Horizon
It has always been our aim to have Basic Calendar maps available for the next 5 years, and the more comprehensive Standard Calendar maps for the next 2 years. Thus we usually have at least one calendar map “sprint” event in the second half of each year to “top up” the catalogue.

Well the Production Department were so excited by the new format that they got very carried away with themselves and created Basic Calendar maps up to and including 2030 (a nice “Brucie Bonus” for all our customers :-) ). This greatly expanded time horizon means we can now commit ourselves to ensuring that we will always have Basic Calendar maps for at least the next 10 years available to download from our website.

Standard Calendar maps are more problematic as they require a lot more time and research to produce, especially the topic images that uniquely identify each day. Thus for this particular “map sprint” there has only been time to add the 2018 Standard Calendar map to the catalogue to maintain our 2 year time horizon, but we did “retro-fit” the existing back-catalogue so now all our standard calendar maps from 2013 to 2018 inclusive are now available in the new format. We will re-visit this during our next calendar map sprint, so please leave your feedback in the comments below. In the meanwhile we will always produce calendar maps for any year in response to specific requests from customers.

 

Calendar Map Types
So just to update our summary from the previous blog post of the range of calendar map types we have available….

Blog_GenericGeneric Calendar Maps denote generic month & dates by text and graphic but do not identify individual days of the week.
Use our FREE generic calendar map to create your own basic annual planner maps for as many years into the future as you want (also available as a generic academic calendar).

Blog_BasicBasic Calendar Maps denote the actual year and month, and day of the month and day of the week by text and graphic, including weekdays and weekends. However unlike in our standard calendar map there are no sub-branches with notable diary events or links to the relevant web page(s) about them (eg. Wikipedia, United Nations).
Use our Basic Calendars for planning of specific years. Because they are more straightforward for us to create, the next 10 years at least are always available on our online store.

Blog_StandardStandard Calendar Maps show months and days all uniquely identified by year, month, day and day of the week graphic and textual description. There are also over 300 further sub-branches showing selected diary events of international public significance which contain links to the relevant web page(s) about them (eg. Wikipedia, United Nations). Events include:-

  • Astronomical Events (lunar cycles, equinoxes etc.)
  • Commemorative Days
  • Cultural / Environmental / Health / Human Rights Issue Awareness Days
  • Profession Awareness Days
  • Major Religious Festivals
  • United Nations Official Days
  • Civil Observances

There are also nationally significant days & public holidays specific to a particular country. Currently we cover the United Kingdom and the United States, but there is also a general edition without national events for each year so you can add those for your own particular country.

Blog_Hyperlinks2

Incidentally the event branches on our Standard maps illustrate another of MindManagers unique capabilities – multiple hyperlinks on a single topic! Marker tags on the branches also enable “geo-tagging” and filtering of maps.

Use our Standard Calendars for more detailed planning of specific years. Because they are more time-consuming for us to create, we are currently only committed to having standard calendar maps for the next 2 years available on our online store, but we are looking to extend this time horizon in the future.

 

Blog_Chronicle2Chronicle Maps use our calendar map structure to link to a range of free “On this day in history…” websites (including the BBC and Wikipedia), thus making them the ultimate flexible resource for anybody who researches history and time-based information on a regular basis.
Use our Chronicle Maps for any sort of historical research tasks and creating bespoke historical timeline maps. Currently we only have generic chronicle maps available (ie. only linking to generic months and days of the month), however chronicles of specific years and days are on our product road map so watch this space!

 

Time_Template_Wikipedia2_50

All our Calendar Maps also come with a FREE Time Related Templates Map which can be used in conjunction with any calendar map to create your own diary and timeline branches to the level of chronological detail you require (down to the nearest second if you wish!).

 

A Shoutout For Map For MindManager ®
Finally we need to acknowledge the fact that we couldn’t produce our calendar maps without the MAP for Mindmanager add-in created by the good people at Olympic Limited, one of our fellow Mindjet Value Added Partners that have been developing value add solutions for over 14 years!

MAP for MindManager banner

The Mapping Action Pack (MAP) for MindManager is a veritable toolbox of additional commands (40 and rising with each quarterly release) that greatly expands the functionality of the software and makes working with topic properties like the embedded spreadsheet a “breeze”:-

  • Show/Hide Custom Properties - Show/Hides ALL Custom Properties (such as embedded spreadsheet calendars) on a map with one click (you have to toggle each one individually in MindManager itself).
    Click here for more details from the MapformindManager website.
  • Property Clipboard - Enables copying and pasting of Custom Properties (such as embedded spreadsheet calendars) into other map branches.
    Click here for more details from the MapformindManager website.
  • Sub-Topics to Markers - Converts the selected Topic and its Sub-Topics into a Map Marker Group and its Marker Tags. This will enable users to create bespoke time markers from their customised calendar to “time tag” branches on any map!
    Click here for more details from the MapformindManager website.

See the full list of MAP commands here.

“Once you’ve had MAP, you never go back!” Check out for yourself why MAP for MindManager® enables you to do more, do it quicker & do it slicker!

Knowledge Mappers Agile Project & Information Mapping Services Now Available On The UK Government Digital Marketplace [Company News]

Blog_Digital_Marketplace_Announcement

Knowledge Mappers are (well*) pleased to announce that, as a result of winning a place on the new Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework set up by the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), our unique agile project & information mapping products and services will be available to public sector clients via the online Digital Marketplace once the framework goes live (expected to be mid-April).

We have won places in both Lot 1: Digital Outcomes and Lot 2: Digital Specialists offering the following:-

Lot 1: Digital Outcome Capabilities

  • Performance analysis and data
  • Service delivery
  • Software development (specialising in Geographic Information systems (GIS) and web-map enabled online data portals, such as this one for our School Travel Health Check spatial analysis service)
  • Support and operations
  • Testing and auditing
  • User experience and design
  • User research

(See the full list of Digital Outcome capabilities that are part of the framework here).

Lot 2: Digital Specialists

  • Business analyst
  • Content designer
  • Designer
  • Developer
  • Product manager
  • Service manager
  • Technical architect
  • User researcher

We look forward to working with public sector clients all over the UK to help them deliver their ambitious digital transformation projects according to the UK Government Digital Services Design Manual:-

Service Design Phases (2)

Screenshot from our unique information map of the complete UK Government Digital Service Design Manual website, available from our to digital download e-store by following the link above this image..

We are also keen to explore collaborative and / or sub-contracting opportunities with other suppliers on the framework. Please contact us to find out how our agile geographic and information mapping skills can help deliver your digital transformation projects and programs more efficiently.

PS – Both the Scottish and Welsh devolved governments have indicated that, rather than re-inventing the wheel, they are sensibly also going to use the UK Government Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework to procure digital solutions and services in the future. As we are based just outside Edinburgh, we especially look forward to assisting the Scottish public sector in their digital transformation.

*As they say in Scotland, “Ya ******* Dancer !! ;-)

UK Governments Official Digital Transformation “Roadmap” Shows There Is A Place For Mindmapping In The Developers Toolbox [New Map]

UK_Government_Digital_Service_Design_Manual_SLIDE2_924x230

The UK Government officially “does” mindmapping! We recently discovered this amazing fact when creating our newly published map of the UK Government Digital Service Design Manual.

What’s one of those and why should care I hear you ask? Well since January 2013, when the UK Government first gave itself 400 days to make 25 major services simpler, clearer and faster to use, there has been an amazing and world-leading digital transformation in how online public services are delivered in the UK. The Digital Service Design Manual is the official roadmap for all those involved in developing online government services, which now must meet the mandatory Digital by Default Service Standard if they are delivered through the GOV.UK platform. It is maintained by the Government Digital Service (GDS), part of the UK Cabinet Office.

 

A “Map Of The Roadmap”

UK_Government_Digital_Service_Design_Manual_4_980x520

Our UK Government Digital Service Design Manual map is effectively a “map of the roadmap”, and contains >2000 branches hyperlinked through to every navigation link for each of the 3 main sections on the online manual website:-

Service design phases:- 

Guides and resources for…   

All guides by topic:-  

 

Wise Men Learn From The Mistakes Of Others

UK_Government_Digital_Service_Design_Manual_5_980x520

The final main branch of our “map of the roadmap” maps the UK Cabinet office website, which includes the Government Digital Service and every article on the GDS blog. This is a fantastic chronicle of the entire journey along the rocky road to digital transformation of government public services in the 6th largest economy in the world. It is very “warts and all”, discussing what has and hasn’t worked along the way, and each of the 700+ posts to date (many of which have been written by Mike Bracken, the recently departed HMG Executive Director for Digital), acts as a jumping off point to further sources of information and advice. Well worth “mining” over a few coffee breaks!

We all have a stake in the digital transformation of public services. As citizen and business owner consumers of those services, we want them to be as easy to use as possible so we can get on with our lives. As tax payers we want them to be delivered as cheaply and efficiently as possible!.

At Knowledge Mappers we are constantly guided by 2 mantras:-

  • do not re-invent the wheel whenever possible.
  • a wise man learns from his own mistakes, but an even wiser man learns from the mistakes of others.

We think our UK Government Digital Service Design Manual map achieves both of these objectives!

 

What about the mindmapping?

Oh yes…. the mindmapping….. Well it’s there in black in white as part of the Exploratory testing of software guide. Apparently “mind-maps are seen as appropriate for exploratory testing as they reflect the non-linear nature of the session”.

Well it’s a start, allbeit a modest one. Hopefully once developers everywhere have our map in their toolbox, they will realise a few more ways that digital mindmapping can help them achieve their digital transformation objectives of “building services so good that people prefer to use them!”

 

Go to the UK Government Digital Service Design Manual map product page.

 

WikiMedia Project Webmap Helps To Make Wiki-Contributing Easier [New Map]

WikiMedia_Projects_Webmap_Slide

Is there anybody on the planet who has ever been online that hasn’t used Wikipedia? It’s an amazing free knowledge resource. But it relies on you, and millions like you, to contribute new articles and to continuously update and improve existing ones. Indeed that is one of the hopes we have for the many maps that we have made that link through to Wikipedia (see below). If you see something that’s “wrong”, or you think “why haven’t they mentioned that, you can’t talk about this without including that?”, then rather than just tutting and clicking the back button, why not add add your tu’pence worth to the global knowledge bank and edit the article?

 

It Ain’t Just Wikipedia You Know!

The same is true of the many sister projects run by the WikiMedia Foundation, the non-profit charitable organization, which is headquartered in California but also has a global network of affiliated “local chapters“. Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikidata, Wikiversity, Wikiquote, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikivoyage….. the list goes on and on. What do you mean you haven’t heard of all of these? You are in for a surprise then my friend when you realise that, as well as all these major “content projects”, there are many others that haven’t quite grown up enough to get a domain of their own yet (WikiJunior anyone?).

Then there are the projects for “outreach and administration” like Wikimedia Outreach, and “technical development” like WikiTech & Wikimedia Labs. And of course there’s MetaWiki, the central hub for the wiki community, where much of the effort is coordinated. These are all crucial components that support the whole people, organisation and technical infrastructure that keeps the content sites growing and improving for the future (see a full list of wikimedia projects here).

 

Doing Our Bit

WikiMedia_Projects_Webmap_Basic_3_960x520

Well as our “starter for 10″ to help make contributing and editing to any of these Wiki projects easier, Knowledge Mappers has produced a FREE WikiMedia Projects Basic Webmap. This maps the main navigation of the Wikimedia Foundation website and all of the major web projects operating under the Wikimedia banner, all in one handy map. With over 900 branches hyperlinked to the project web pages, this map will help users make their contribution to the detailed knowledge sharing effort whilst not losing sight of the “big picture”.

More power to you Wikimedians!


Go to the WikiMedia Projects Basic Webmap product page.

 

PS: Examples Of Our Wikipedia Maps

Many of our maps link through to at least Wikipedia, if not addional Wikimedia sites:-

 

For example our Countries of the World Research Atlas (Geographic Layout) map shows all the countries in a pseudo-geographic layout according to UN defined Macro Geographical Regions And Sub-Regions. There are >5500 hyperlinks through to webpages about the countries including the Country Page, Portal & Index of country-related articles on Wikipedia; the Index of country-related images & atlases on Wikimedia Commons and the Country page on Wikivoyage. In turn these pages have 1000s more links, all from one document! That’s the power of digital mindmaps.

At Knowledge Mappers we believe this visual approach is a great “way in” to Wikipedia and related projects for both consumers of the information, and potential contributors / editors. We think this holds true whether they are laymen or “professional” researchers.

In the adademic world the “mindmapping effect” is well known. But it should be emphasised that the scope and functionality of mindmapping software goes way beyond what is possible with traditional, paper-based mindmapping. For us it is a general information mapping and visualisation tool, it’s not just for “brainstorming”. However the “mindmapping effect” still applies – by seeing the information in front of you, further thoughts and mental connections are sparked.

Our “information cartography” work with mindmapping software and Wikipedia was a logical extension of working with geographic information for many years. If you can use GIS software to map “real world” space, why not mindmapping software to map “information space”? And if you are going to map information space, why not digital information space so that you can take advantage of the softwares hyperlinking ability?

In traditional geographic mapping one of the maxims is that the “map is not the territory”. We believe this is no longer strictly true in digital information mapping!

 


Go to the WikiMedia Projects Basic Webmap product page.

 

Calendar Maps To 2020 Help You Plan For Your Best, Most Organised (And Most Informed!) Years Ever! [New Maps]

Slide1

Are you actively planning for the future but constantly struggling to keep track of work, family and hobby commitments? Perhaps you are planning next years holiday but are already failing to keep up with all the family members activities to identify a 2 week window when you are all available? Maybe you’re the one who is overloaded and can’t keep your Outlook calendar up to date with your every changing schedule. It’s always such a pain editing those events one by one isn’t it, especially on your smart phone screen!. Are you actually here for that show whose advert you’ve just scene but which isn’t actually on in your town until November next year? And what about that legendary St Patricks Day night out with the boys / girls (what day of the week is it on again next year)?

So what’s the solution? Well our Calendar Maps in digital mindmap format, combined with the versatility of the MindManager mindmapping software you know and love, go a long way to giving you back as much detailed control of your schedule as you want whilst still enabling you to see the bigger picture. Use them to keep track of everything that is, was, may be, or may not be, happening in your (and your families) life for the next few years – we have calendar maps available up to 2020! (Calendars for 2015 and previous years are also still available).

Calendar Map Types

Blog_Generic

Generic Calendar Maps denote generic month & dates by text and graphic but do not identify individual days of the week.
Use our FREE generic calendar map to create your own basic annual planner maps for as many years into the future as you want (also available as a generic academic calendar).

 

Blog_Basic

Basic Calendar Maps denote the actual year and month, and day of the month and day of the week by text and graphic, including weekdays and weekends. However unlike in our standard calendar map there are no sub-branches with notable diary events or links to relevant articles on Wikipedia.
Use our Basic Calendars for more detailed planning (because they are more straightforward for us to create, the next 5 years at least are always available on our online store).

 

Blog_Standard

Standard Calendar Maps show months and days all uniquely identified by year, month, day and day of the week graphic and textual description. There are also over 300 further sub-branches showing selected diary events of international public significance which contain links to the relevant web page(s) about them (eg. Wikipedia, United Nations). Events include:-

  • Astronomical Events (lunar cycles, equinoxes etc.)
  • Commemorative Days
  • Cultural / Environmental / Health / Human Rights Issue Awareness Days
  • Profession Awareness Days
  • Major Religious Festivals
  • United Nations Official Days
  • Civil Observances

There are also nationally significant days & public holidays specific to a particular country. Currently we cover the United Kingdom and the United States, but there is also a general edition without national events for each year so you can add those for your own particular country.
Use our Standard Calendars to help you have your best, most organised (and most informed!) year ever! Obviously with unique graphics and over 300 diary events these maps take a lot more effort to create, however we aim to have Standard Calendars available on our website for the next 2 years at least (but we will create them for later years if you want, just get in touch).

 

Time_Template_Wikipedia2_50

All our Calendar Maps also come with a FREE Time Related Templates Map which can be used in conjunction with the calendar map to create your own diary and timeline branches to the level of chronological detail you require. (map will be added to your cart automatically)!

Uses of Our Calendar Maps:
The uses of of our calendar maps are at least 3-fold (but I am sure you can think of more):-

  • Stand-Alone Calendars - They can be used as stand-alone calendar maps to record whatever you would want to in as much chronological detail as you require, be it for work, family, hobbies, personal journal or blog, whatever.
  • Source Templates - They can be used as a source template to add calendar branches to other maps. The fact that entries can incorporate hyperlinks to websites or other documents, text and images as well as extracts from other maps, and that significant public events are already listed (even for events that shift around the calendar every year eg. Easter), makes it a very powerful tool for self-organisation, forward planning and time management. Just as importantly though it will serve as a fantastic historical record of your year, not to mention digital archiving tool.
  • Public Education Resources - Users can discover further information about the public events in the world and perhaps make a connection that they wouldn’t otherwise have done.

 

Specific Tips For Use

  1. Using the FREE Time Related Template Map included in the download with any Calendar Map, “mix & match” the branches to create days of sufficient chronological detail to suit your purpose eg. copy and paste the “minutes in an hour” into each “hours in a day” branch and copy all of them onto the day branches of the calendar map to plan your day to the nearest minute! (Note during “copy and paste” the formatting of the branch contents will change to that of the theme of the map you are adding to).
  2. Create an “Annual Planner” map using our FREE Generic Calendar Map to keep a permanent record of events that always recur on the same date every year, such as birthdays, or have some other predictable occurrence eg. a hobby club that meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, or a festival that always takes place over the Easter holidays. If you then maintain this Annual Planner map as a “living document” that is always to hand (eg. by putting it on your online “Mindjet Connect” account), you can then simply copy and paste branches to your new diary map to get a “heads-up” for planning the forthcoming year.
    Note: A good tip is to insert a hyperlink to the relevant webpage on the branch of the Planner Map (eg. the club events or diary page) so that you can easily take note of the exact dates of future events when you come to fill out your new diary map for the forthcoming year.
  3. NOTE: WE WOULD ALWAYS RECOMMEND USERS WORK ON A DUPLICATE COPY OF THE MAP SO THEY WILL STILL HAVE THE ORIGINAL AS A STARTING POINT FOR SUBSEQUENT RESEARCH PROJECTS.

See the About Our Maps section for the full list of general hints & tips for working with our maps.

Watch our Standard Calendar walk-through video below, or go to the future years calendars category to start getting back control of your schedule!

 

Project Management Web Resources Map Gives PMs “Their World In A Map” [New Arrival]

Project_Management_Webmap_Slide

Mindmapping software is the ideal tool for brainstorming new ideas, many of which will have to be turned into projects in order to be realised. Project management therefore is a very logical extension of the use of mindmap software and so we have now created a dedicated Project Management category on our online store for maps that will help you in this task. As a “starter for 10″ we have created a Project Management Web Resources map.

Project_Management_Webmap_Overview(2)_1920x1040_CROPPED

As it sounds, and as you have by now come to expect from us, this is a comprehensive webmap of the websites of organisations and initiatives devoted to the art, craft and industry of Project Management. The websites are categorised as follows:-

  • Background Information
  • Member-Based Project Management Organisations
    - International (May have national & local chapters)
    - National (Will have local and possibly international chapters)
  • Project Management Websites & Initiatives
  • Project Management Media Channels
    - Blogs
    - Magazines & Journals
    - Video Channels
  • Project Management Digital MindMapping Resources

Apart from the resources available only to members of the member-based organisations, all the websites and information resources there-in are free to access. With links to over 3600 webpages, our Project Management Web Resolurces map is a fantastic resource for project managers, helping them to find free online resources quicker and easier, so both their projects and their careers run smoother with a lot less stress!.

Icon_Product_Project_Management_Resource_Webmap_144x48Watch our Standard Calendar walk-through video below, or go to the Project Management Web Resources Map product page.

 

 

Not sure about using digital mindmaps for Project Management? Watch the video of Sergey Soloviovs’ talk on “Using mindmapping software to inject structure to support project health”, given at the Biggerplate Unplugged Mindmapping Conference In London in March 2015.