Big Maps

Filed Under Mindjet


March 17, 2008

Let’s talk about big maps.

First question: What is a big map? In other words, when you think "This is a big map!", what makes you think that? Is it just the number of topics? The size when expanded? The behavior of MindManager when you are working with it? Where do you draw the line?

Second question: What is in your big maps? Do all your maps become big, or just some of them? Why do some maps get big and others stay small?

Third question: What do you do with your big maps? Do you break them up, or do they just get bigger and bigger?

Fourth question: What would you like to do with your big maps? Do you wish for specific features or abilities to deal with big maps better than you do today?

The floor is yours.

(If you responded to this in the MindManager Yahoo group, thanks! No need to repeat yourself here.)

5 Responses to “Big Maps”

  1. Worth MacMurray

    I now think of the size of maps in terms of output; I print specialized corporate compliance program-related maps in a 3’ x 4’ format for use with corporate clients, and for their later use internally. To generate these maps, I use a 30” screen, save to PDF “Press Quality” and have a great local printer do the final product – after placing my MM in Adobe Illustrator to get the colors and graphics that we need.

    It took significant trial and error to get to this point. Generating uniform sizes for topic boxes and using call-outs is problematic. Not having a more robust topic box connection capability (a la Mind Mapper 2008) is also a problem. Limited graphics and colors (not linked to known standards) are an issue.

    Projector-based presentations often do not meet a sophisticated client’s needs to ‘see the big picture’ from one map. Large maps provide that – and viwers to date have been blown away by the results. I strongly urge you to add capabilities and features to take advantage of this market.

  2. Roger C. Parker

    Dear Lars:
    1. What is a big map?
    To me, based on the way I have used it, a map is “too big” when I can’t comfortably print it on a single sheet of paper. (Or, I can’t read it when printed.)

    2. What is in your big maps?
    Just some of them, like lists of URLs and blog posts.

    3. What do you do with your big maps?
    To date, I haven’t done what I really need to do, (see next question).

    4. What would you like to do with your big maps?
    My pressing need right now is to use MM to track my growing list of contacts, ideas, and URLs. My e-mail address book is overflowing, and I lack a simple, visual way of keeping track of ideas and people.

  3. Steve Rothwell

    1. A big map is one where the topic text cannot be read when the map is scaled to fit within the screen
    2. The biggest maps I have created are a) where I have imported a MS Project plan b) where a brainstorm has developed to include many ideas. Project plan maps get big as task breakdown is added.
    3. I have used a number of options: a) broken up to linked sub-maps b) used map views on specific branches and/or filters c) filters d) branch alone e) focus on topic with variable levels of detail f) print on A3. I have also reviewed and revised the maps – often reducing the number of levels by taking out some of the intermediate hierarchy using remove topic
    4. Not sure – when they get too big I ask myself what is the purpose of a mind map – to give a view of a subject on one page, wheer evrything can be seen at once. Then I restructure the big map to create the views I need with the needs of the audience in mind.

  4. Jim

    I am a novice Mindjet mapper, and currently making a set of maps for study guides for the Project Management Institute PMP exam. I want to keep each map down to an 11″x17″ size for easy printing, yet have the type font large enough to be able to read. If I am not careful, the maps will grow to too many levels, too many branches, such that they are unreadable. If I break it into too many pages, then it gets a little unwieldy. To me one of the benefits of a mindmap is to see the whole picture in one take.

    For an area of study as large (and deep) as the PMI PMBOK, it is a balancing act.

  5. Marco van Laerhoven

    A big map for me is determined by the number of layers in a map. I find that if I have to many branches to work comfortably, I need to improve structure (which results in more levels/layers).

    I have maps for various parts of my life, and the size seems to be consistent. Once the number of levels become too much (so I lose overview) I move items into Project maps … the current fuctionality works fine for me!
    Since I use resultsmanager, I never have to worry about losing overview on pending tasks in each of the maps (my dashboard will display them all, wherever they are). This allows me to structure the maps in a logical way and at the same time gives me all details I need to manage my work and that of others.