A while back Jay Dugger was asking about the significance of the various line colors in some of the maps on this blog. I’ll address the theory and benefits to this in the next posting. Meantime, Jay has contributed an idea map he calls, “Mapping.” I’ll let Jay explain this map (created using FreeMind) in his own words:

“I use “Mapping” to collect my ideas about mind mapping techniques. I use mind maps to manage projects, tasks, and actions. This works well, but I was spending a great deal of time replicating similar and recurring events and tasks. So I wrote a boilerplate to give my map a recurring visual structure for the branches that described similar events and tasks. “Mapping” began as a map that stored boilerplate branches. I accumulated other conventions (symbols, colors, clouds, typography) in my maps over time. I recorded what they signified on “Mapping.” Eventually I compared my mind map use with that of other people. When I wanted to adopt or test a method or an idea, I recorded it in “Mapping. The use of line thickness and color from “It’s Not About the Coffee” (the February 9, 2008 posting in this blog) “Mapping” so I have a place to remind myself to test using line color and thickness, and so I have a place to record its results. I will probably try replacing the colored clouds I use to show past, present, and future with line colors. I expect this will reduce a map’s visual clutter by using fewer pixels to signify the same ideas.”

The above map has the other branches “shrunk”. Jay’s original map can be found on Flickr, and current versions on Mappio and FreeMindShare. If I can get a pdf of the entire map from Jay, I’ll put it on my website so that you can see the entire map.