Knowledge Maps

I was browsing through facebook today (a facebook user visited my blog and I clicked on the incoming link to take a look). I found moneylet, a social bookmarking site for financial news. There was an item on Forbes report on the wealthiest men. More interesting, there was a of Knowledge Map of Warrren Buffet. Unfortunately, you can view these only on Internet Explorer.


Knowledge Maps are a special application of Mindmaps. While I have seen and used mind maps before, I have not seen this particular product. IntellectSpace provides a free trial and your own way to create and share Knowledge Maps on the web. The Intellispace seems to be a cut above simple mind maps. It has several features. You can filter entities and relationships and navigate and browse nodes in the map.

How do you build a knowledge map? Here are a few thoughts.

  • Manually – Take all the facts and enter them into a mind mapping tool (define nodes types, connection types)
  • Semi-Automatic – Generate a wiki mind map from a wiki (like Media Wiki) and annotate or modify the map
  • Automatic – This may be in the future. It requires the ability to map concepts, links and additional semantics (how do you recognize people, places, things)? Microformats and Semantic Web technologies (like GRDDL) may help here.

I wonder what the next step in the evolution of these maps would be? Social Knowledge Maps? Seems like a cool Social Networking Application waiting to happen. Imagine the ability to generate a Knowledge Map and let people share and improve it. For that we may need something more than a drawing tool. Some kind of meta language for knowledge maps may be useful.