Mapping is a rich synthesis of thinking processes, mental strategies, techniques and technologies, and knowledge that enables humans to investigate unknowns, show patterns of information, and then use the map to express, build, and assess new knowledge.
The uses of tools for mapping information have been far and wide-- from the early cartographers to present day Google Maps--and in this peer reviewed article in the book Knowledge Cartography, published by Cambridge University Press, I investigated the implications for using visual tools, especially Thinking Maps®, as transformational pathways to learning in the new cognitive age. Here is an excerpt and a view of Thinking Maps that few have seen.
"As mesmerizing as this metaphor is in a technological sense, ultimately this is about power sharing in the creation of knowledge. The gulf between our students’ relatively high technological expertise and underdeveloped mental fluency is one of the key barriers we must transcend to enact positive change through knowledge sharing in schools, the workplace, and globally. So the mapping metaphor also opens up a central dilemma: our students may be networked to information webs, yet few have developed congruent thinking tools that enable them to consciously pattern information into meaningful, integrated, networked knowledge."