Thortspace: mind map or concept map, or something else entirely?

Andrew Bindon
Dec 8, 2016 · 7 min read

“Like the circles that you find, in the windmills of your mind.”

~ Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman

Notes: A list of useful links to Thortspace resources can be found here: Notes about thortspace — Public sphere list at thortspace .

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Designed by Freepik

Some colleagues pointed me to an article by Chuck Frey, that compared Concept Maps and Mind Maps, and asked me to say where Thortspace fits into this picture.

The proof of the pudding being in the eating, lets start by looking at what we’re talking about: here’s an example of Thortspace : 3D mind-mapping.

Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Thortspace : 3D mind-mapping
Set YouTube quality to 1080p (via the Cog) or visit Thortspace for live content: https://thort.space/journey/110898789587140112950_5129815931640490948_2023071682883803580/1

The Thortspace App and Thortspace Web portal were designed out of research initially funded by Edward Hoare of Hoare’s bank.

Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling

“Impactful philanthropy is complicated. Thortspace helps you cut through the complexity and really make a difference.” ~ Rennie Hoare, Partner in C.Hoare & Co

Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Phil Shepherd presents “Thinking visually” at the British Computer Society Learning and Development Ltd. — Electronic Visualisation and Arts Conference 2018 using Thortspace Mindmap

There are a number dimensions on which we can place tools that are designed to help with thinking. Some such dimensions that are important to insightful thinking-in-the-world are:

The mind-mapping and concept-mapping tools that I have seen are:

There’s no question that such tools are useful. But are these tools oriented towards causing transformational breakthroughs?

When we think seriously about a matter, we are looking for perspectives that encompass (include and transcend) all the other perspectives. That’s why we say about thortspace that it is “everything from the perspective of everything else”.

I think what we’re trying to do with thortspace is provide a visual language that is:

So as well as imposing structures on thinking, we are aiming to make it possible to express the structures that we already find in our thinking when we come to look at it. The structures that we find when we look may include hierarchies, inclusion, collection, association, imbued meaningfulness, connection, relationship, logical consequences, logical argument and so on.

How does thortspace enable viewing a subject from different points of view?

(1) The surface of a sphere doesn’t have a centre.

Work done on a “page” inevitably has a middle. It is not just the map itself that has a centre (mind maps typically have one centre from which the hierarchy spreads out, with concept-maps its not so straight-forwards) but the point is that the space inside which these maps exist has a centre, even if the maps themselves do not. And the space inside which thinking is done shapes the possibility of the thinking that is done in that space.

Because the surface of a sphere has no centre, and no “right-way up”, any point on a sphere can be moved to the centre.

Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
There is no centre on the surface of a sphere… or rather “everywhere is the centre”. Thortspace — beyond 3D mind-mapping

(2) Thortspace is designed to make it easy to group, regroup, connect and re-connect items in multifarious different ways.

The implementation of this may not be ideal in the current releases, but in essence, having thoughts on discs which you can slide around, makes it in principle easy to consider multiple re-configurations of the same sets or subsets of thoughts.

Provision of the “Arrangements” functionality is intended to make it easy to store all of these alternative configurations and easily transition between them. Consequently when you arrive at a typical thortspace perspective, you actually arrive at a whole series of alternative perspectives.

Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Thortspace allows users to store multiple alternative arrangements of the set or subsets of information and switch fluidly between these arrangements. Thortspace — beyond 3D mind-mapping
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
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https://thort.space/journey/110898789587140112950_4713364537012856108_-3086115817288806743/1

(3) Thortspace supports viewing thinking structures at a whole series of different scales and distances.

Thortspace supports automatic precising as you zoom in and out. As you zoom out, thortspace identifies keywords (or you can designate your own with #hastags) and instead of the text getting tiny, thortspace drops out words that are not keywords, and tries to maintain the size on screen of the keyword text. This allows a sphere to be viewed at a whole series of different levels of detail, and seamlessly flow from one level into another.

Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Thortspace automatically applies algorithmic or user-defined precis to text as you zoom out.
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Thortspace allows flowing seamlessly between viewing thinking at different scales at distances.

How does thortspace support the creation of building blocks that can be used to build with?

(1) Thortspace is designed to make it easy to pull in previous thinking you have done on a subject, so that you can use it as building blocks for doing further thinking on related subjects. Linked spheres and embedded spheres can both help with this. Our plan for the Global Mind Vision will enhance this aspect much further and deeper.

Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Mind map mindmap mind mapping mindmapping software Thortspace mind blowing accelerated learning problem solving storytelling
Spheres in thortspace enable the storage of “chunks” of thinking, that can then be linked together to make networks of thinking.

How does thortspace support being experimental and process-oriented rather than being organisational and static-endpoint-oriented?

(1) Thorts can be easily split from groups and associated into other groups

(2) Connections can be made at

  • thort->thort,
  • thort->group,
  • group->group,
  • sphere->sphere,
  • thort->sphere,
  • group->sphere levels

The first three of these at least support multiple-step connections.

(3) Associations can be made at the thort and sphere levels, and to an extent at the group level. And we plan to extend this.

(4) Alternative arrangements can be created, stored and switched between.

(5) Alternative categorizations for thoughts can be created and expressed by means of graphics, icons or colours. On any given sphere multiple different categorizations can be applied, and category membership across each of the alternative categorizations is stored by the software.

“Essentially what Thortspace does is bring together three of the most obvious trends in recent software evolution (social networking, cloud services and 3d graphics) with a less obvious fourth — mind mapping !”

Conclusion

Thortspace is not designed so much to organise information (which other mind-map tools do well) as it is designed to (capture and) convey meaning. Prof. Simon Schaffer says: “communicating knowledge is always also making it”.

“Communicating knowledge is always also making it” ~ Prof. Simon Schaffer

Thortspace services are Powered by Google App Engine

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Thortspace Premium and Free services run on Google App Engine and your sphere data is stored on Google’s Cloud Data storage. Your data is as secure on our service as it is on any of Google’s native services. See:




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Andrew is a Product Designer at Thortspace, the world’s first collaborative 3D mind mapping software. More stories here.

Thortspace - Collaborative 3D Mind Mapping Software

#3D #collaborative #thought_mapping #app. See it #MoreThatOneWay!

Andrew Bindon

Written by

Andrew is a Product Designer at https://medium.com/thortspace - #3D #collaborative #thought_mapping #app. See it more than one way!

Thortspace - Collaborative 3D Mind Mapping Software

#3D #collaborative #thought_mapping #app. See it #MoreThatOneWay!

Andrew Bindon

Written by

Andrew is a Product Designer at https://medium.com/thortspace - #3D #collaborative #thought_mapping #app. See it more than one way!

Thortspace - Collaborative 3D Mind Mapping Software

#3D #collaborative #thought_mapping #app. See it #MoreThatOneWay!