Friday, November 18, 2011

Ideation: the cartographic potential

Taken from:
One of the main challenges that I have as an educator in the creative fields is the challenge of following and 'seeing' how my charges swim through their mish-mash of ideas, and counter-ideas. Mind-maps, concept-maps, sketches and words might help, but I thought there ought to be an effective way of putting all of these together in an 'orderly-yet-choatic' manner, akin to how the human mind perceives things.

I chance upon the idea of cartographing these mish mash, perhaps in the form of a map of sorts, that would enable the human subject to capture and enunciate his or her thoughts and ideas in a more visual, and perhaps be better understood by those around.

Wikipedia defines cartography as "...the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively."

I would like to proposed the idea of mapping these thoughts and ideas much like how a map would show the terrains and geographical information on a piece of real estate. And more than just about representing such information on a 2-D flat form, I would like to see such a visualisation being done in more than just the 3D that one can leverage on. A timeline, incorporated into such a visualisation scheme of things would definitely help to put some things in context. Having such a chronological perspective adds up to the richness of the information. In fact, having such details being mapped out in a terrain-like manner, akin to those found representing the different elevation levels, would be one way of looking at it.

And how do one make connections from one piece of the jigsaw to another. Tributaries, and other means of links could be introduced. Perhaps pathways, water tributaries, and maybe even the use of similar representations of elevation could be one suggested way.

I personally and professionally think that this means of information visualisation could be thought through a little deeper, and perhaps worked on by my charges. Let me see how I can crystalise such a scheme a little more clearly over the coming weeks and months.

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