Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Knowledge Management : Concept Mapping

In the first article of this series, I talked about Knowledge management using Online Bookmarks Manager. In this post, will go one step further and talk about managing knowledge acquired from reading the articles, books and any other such stuff.

Imagine you have read an interesting book and want to have a kind of notes for reference so that you don’t have to run through the book again and again. Go for Concept Mapping tools like Cmap Tools.

You have to make a Presentation which has a limit on the number of slides. You have to convey a concept or a product which is expected to take more than half of the slides quota. What you would do. Go for Concept Mapping tools like Cmap Tools.

What is Concept Mapping?
Concept mapping is all about capturing concepts into a simple drawing consisting of simple shapes and emoticons. The usage of such drawings are infinite. Students could use Concept Mapping drawings for study. Concept maps can also be used in presentations, documents to convey complex concepts in the form of visualizing appealing drawings. I would call this a lossless compression technique for knowledge.

Such tools are not freely available...
Yes most of the time. But this tool called Cmap tools has been developed at IHMC and is freely available.

Free tools have limited features...
Not in the case of Cmap tools. It’s a full featured download. Probably Cmap tools one of the very few Concept Mapping tools freely available as it has been developed by an institute and not for commercial purpose. At least I don’t find any link related to commercials on the Cmap Tools site. Pondering over the drawing will set the context regarding the capabilities of the tools. In fact the drawing is a kind of reference guide to the tool. According to the site,

CmapTools program empowers users to construct, navigate, share and criticize knowledge models represented as concept maps. It allows users to, among many other features, construct their Cmaps in their personal computer, share them on servers (CmapServers) anywhere on the Internet, link their Cmaps to other Cmaps on servers, automatically create web pages of their concept maps on servers, edit their maps synchronously (at the same time) with other users on the Internet, and search the web for information relevant to a concept map.

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I have been using this tool for quite sometime and found it very interesting and useful. I have found another site where concept maps developed in Cmap tools are posted. Check it out at www.bssarena.com

The best Features
I personally feel the feature of the tool to share the concept maps is awesome. It is very well in sync with the hot trend of Social innovation.
So what are you waiting for…download it here

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