Basic types of maps
Nick Duffill wrote a very good summary of different types of maps: Three basic types of map. His classification is based on the map content.
We found another type of classification that differentiates maps not on their content, but on their life span:
Brainstorming maps are often used just during one session. You dump all your ideas or even better in a group session the ideas of the whole team, structure the map, set some priorities, decide on some next actions and afterwards the map is not needed any more. It has “just” facilitated the process. The life time of those maps is in the range of a few hours.
Project maps used to plan an event, a product launch or how to approach a sales deal, live until the project is finished. Afterwards they are not needed any more. Those maps are usually used for days or a few weeks. They are updated again and again to reflect the latest status of the project.
A third category is Knowledge maps. They contain information that you write down once and are then kept for a long time. They usually replace other types of documents like Word or PowerPoint. Those maps can live very long, even for years. Occasionally they need to be updated, but often they are never touched after their first creation.