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A Brief History of Mind Mapping: Sins and Virtues

Did you know that humans have been using visual diagrams to clarify and communicate concepts for over 2,000 years? In anticipation of the MindManager 14 for Windows launch happening September 12th, we’re giving you a few lessons in mind mapping history.

It’s time for the second installment in our history of mind mapping series (if you missed the first one, check it out here). So without further ado, we bring you another mind map of yore.

Mapping Sins and Virtues

This time, we’re fast-forwarding from ancient Greece to 16th-century France, which is when this map appeared in the “Treatise on the virtues of excellence, and how one may acquire them” by d’Anguerrande.

If you speak a bit of French, you may notice that on one side, you see d’Angeurrande’s aforementioned “virtues of excellence,” with their corresponding vices on the other (for a bit of extra fun, don’t miss our own take on innovation virtue and vice – The 7 Deadly Sins of Innovation).

The Beginnings of Radial Mapping

Note the organization of nodes, color, and single-word branches on this map. It’s starting to look a lot like the mind maps we know and love, right? The style is a precursor to what’s known as radial mind mapping. Radial mind mapping was famously popularized by the great 20th-century mind mapper Tony Buzan, the guy who literally wrote the book on mind mapping.

sins and virtues_full

Coming up next: What do Walt Disney and mind maps have in common? More than you might think. Stay tuned for the next installment of our History of Mind Mapping series!

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