susi-watson-family_travel-sf-expandedSusi Watson developed this unique map for people who wanted want to visit the various tourist attractions in San Francisco. Unfortunately, non-Mindjet users can’t open the branches to see the details. Above are two versions of her map. One is the collapsed overview and the second map is expanded in a few places to show some of the map’s many details.

I suspect many of you would like to know how she created this map, so let me give you some background. I was introduced to Susi in the fall of 2007 through Gaelen O’Connell at Mindjet. We ended up co-facilitating two sessions at the VizThink Conference held in San Francisco in January 2008. I was immediately attracted to her mapping style and thought you would be intrigued as well.

To get the map of San Francisco dropped into the MindManager file, she inserted a picture of it into the background. To do this, open up a new file and right click anywhere on the background. Then select Background, Backgroud Properties, and then Select Image. Under Tile Options, Susi recommends Center or Stretch to Fit. You may need to play around with it a bit by:

  1. Increasing the font size of the central image/words while shrinking the size of the map. I found this helpful when choosing Stretch to Fit under Tile Options.
  2. Right click on the central topic and select Format Topic. Click on the Size and Margins tab. You may need to adjust the Left Margin.

The central image in this map was the circle labeled “Sample San Francisco Family Day.” The rest of the circles (or main topics) are floating text placed strategically on the map on top of the location being described. Each floating topic has sub branches that go into more detail about the attraction. Adding photos, hyperlinks, attachments for maps and travel documents, linking to sections of your travel budget, and how to link new contacts to Outlook are all demonstrated in this map. For instructions on all of these items, look for the text box within each topic called “How To.”

Flags were used to customize attractions into 7 categories: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Indoor Activity, Outdoor Activity, Evening Events, and Touristy. The idea was that you could filter this map based on your own travel plans and build a customized version of your own. This map isn’t 100% complete. As you could imagine, it could grow into infinity. But it does give you a nice picture of possibilities.

Susi Watson is and artist, consultant and facilitator. She helps conceptualize and create valuable customer experiences for both public and private sector clients. If you want to have the entire map in MindManager format, email me at info(at)ideamappingsuccess(dot)com and I’ll send you the original file. To see this in a larger pdf format go to Additional Maps” on my website. They are in alphabetical order by the title of the map.