Dr Pascal Venier is curently a
Lecturer in French and International History at the School of Languages & Centre for European Security within the University of Salford, England.
A social media and Mind-Visual mapping professional practitioner and consultant; Pascal is a fellow Visual mapping colleague and is integral to the furtherance of this arena. Wallace Tait: Visualmapper
I was really delighted when Wallace Tait invited me to write a guest post for Visualmapper. Accepting to write a post is one thing, coming up with an idea is another one. As I had difficulties in this respect, I I decided to ask my Twitter network if anyone could suggest a good theme. One of my tweeple, @marionchapsal, a very keen mindmapper herself, suggested that, as an historian, I perhaps ought to write something about the history of visual mapping. I immediately thought this was a superb idea. On thinking about it further, I however very quickly realised that this was perhaps more tricky than I initially thought. As this was outside my real area of expertise, it would certainly take a considerable amount of background research.
In quite a typical way of how Twitter can contribute to help with the generation of ideas, I however just as quickly came up with a way to go round this problem. Firstly, I remembered reading a tweet by @pgsimoes who was drawing attention to a new web 2.0 site, Timetoast, which makes it easy to create and share timelines online. I was already familiar with the SIMILE software, which allows for the creation of web widgets for visualising temporal data, but had been hoping for a while, that such a software hosted in the cloud would become available, as I could see a real potential for it and it would be very useful for me in connection with my history teaching at the university. Secondly, in another tweet, Wallace Tait, the Visualmapper himself, had also recently pointed towards a post on Philippe Boukozba's blog about "A visual map created by Walt Disney 53 years ago". From those two tweets came the idea of preparing this timeline in a very collaborative way by conducting a little experiment in crowdsourcing.
It is necessary to start this mindmap somewhere and a couple of blog posts provide us with a starting point, namely Michael Tipper's Tony Buzan did not invent Mind Mapping! and Origins of Mindmapping software. I shall limit my own contribution to only one date, which would be Joseph Novak's Concept Map (1972).
What I would therefore like to do is to ask the readers of both the Visualmapper and the Hypershifters to tell us, what they consider as the most significant dates in the history of visual mapping broadly defined and to provide pertinent links to accompanying illustrations and documents on the web. It would have been nice to create such a timeline on Timetoast, but it will unfortunately not be possible, as it is currently necessary to have a precise date to enter, which includes not only a year, but also a day and a month, and such data will probably not be available for some of the entries. It will therefore probably be best to present the timeline in question in the form of a mind map. The first iteration looked like this.
And the current version looks like this;
What would you suggest adding? It is possible to directly make changes to the map, using Mindmeister's wikimap function, if you already have an account or create one for this purpose. An other option is to suggest additions in the comments of this blog post.