What is a Concept Map? Concept maps are a graphical tool used to visualize relationships that occur between different concepts and ideas. They have a philosophical basis and are often used to organize and present knowledge. Typically concept maps have a hierarchical structure, with a main concept or idea, and subordinate concepts or sub-topics connected to it by labelled arrows with linking phrases, such as "depends on", "due to", "gives rise to", "involves", "results in", "contributes to", "includes", "is required by", and others.
The technique of concept mapping was developed as a constructive way of representing knowledge in science and increasing the meaningfulness of learning. Now, the creation of a concept map is extremely helpful when used in education as learning and teaching techniques that assist memorization. Concept maps are also used for idea generation in brainstorming sessions, and for detailing the structure of complex ideas.
How does one make a concept map easily and quickly? The Concept Maps Solution represents a large collection of concept map samples, examples, and templates. Also included is a library of pre-drawn vector stencils that convert ConceptDraw PRO v9.5 into a professional concept map maker. This capability makes it exceptionally effective for concept mapping.
The samples you see on this page were created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Concept Maps Solution; they demonstrate a portion of the solution's capabilities and the professional results you can achieve.
All source documents are vector graphic documents. They are available for reviewing, modifying, or converting to a variety of formats (PDF file, MS PowerPoint, MS Visio XML, and many other graphic formats) from the ConceptDraw Solution Park. The Concept Maps Solution is available for all ConceptDraw PRO v9.5 users.
Example 1: Concept Map — Internet Marketing
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Concept Map Library from the Concept Map Solution. An experienced user spent 15 minutes creating this sample.
This concept map shows internet marketing components and main principles. It is a large and complex diagram, but with the use of different shapes, colors and gradations it is easy for understanding, perception and remembering. Concept map diagrams can be successfully used in presentations, conferences, and reviews.
Example 2: Concept Map — Online Shop
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Concept Maps Library from the Concept Maps Solution. An experienced user spent 10 minutes creating this sample.
This concept map shows the components of an online shop. This diagram is visual and bright. Each group has its own color that lowers intensity with increasing the distance from the main idea. Each new level of elements uses its own shape, this better highlights differentiation in the map.
Example 3: Concept Map — Team Psychological Characteristics
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Concept Maps Library from the Concept Maps Solution. An experienced user spent 20 minutes creating this sample.
This sample shows a concept map that depicts a team’s psychological characteristics. The concept map is very convenient tool for such diagrams, it allows visually represent all important details. For greater clarity the main ideas are brightly highlighted with color. You can easy highlight the ideas at your discretion.
Example 4: Concepts v2, November, 19 2008
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Concept Map Library from the Concept Map Solution. An experienced user spent 5 minutes creating this sample.
This Concept Diagram demonstrates the relationships between one country and a group of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This diagram has also the legend. It’s very easy, convenient, and quick to create professional looking concept diagrams in ConceptDraw PRO using the predesigned objects.
Concept mapping has a history that begins with the sciences, and a researcher named Joseph D. Novak, who developed concept maps as a teaching tool to help define student's scientific knowledge. Starting with an original thought or question, a concept map expands on this by offering all known knowledge or influencing factors surrounding this subject, while also describing the internal relationships between concepts.
Soon concept maps were being employed as a diagramming technique by knowledge workers from a wide variety fields — their hierarchical structure is suitable to tackle almost any idea, question or system that relies on logical dependencies and factors of causation. Ideas branch down or outwards from the original concept, roughly positioned in order of influence or specificity. Links between ideas can cross in any direction over the map, and are labelled to show the form of relationship — propositions such as 'is due to', 'caused by' or 'is required to', for example.
A concept map focusing on team unity created using ConceptDraw PRO, giving an example of the different types of relationships between concepts, as noted on the connecting arrows.
In an educational setting, the benefit to the student is being able to visualize and conceive relationships between concepts, to view how parts of an idea make up the whole. From a teacher's point of view, they can be used to spot gaps in a student's knowledge; psychologists can take this idea further by asking a patient to design a concept map, that helps profile that individual's personality.
Outside of being used as learning materials, concept maps can also be used to describe pre-existing systems that follow a similar hierarchy, such as websites or computer systems. In the case of the latter, a standardized language such as Unified Modeling Language (UML) can be used in conjunction with the diagramming style to define computer ontology for software engineers. For website design, a concept map is flexible enough to allow extra pages or data sources to be added at a later date, with hyperlink structure and other relationships updated accordingly.
Here are a few of the fields in which concept maps can be put to effective use:
While visually similar to mind maps, concept maps are distinguished by being more appropriate for knowledge sharing, given the level of concept relationship detail they are able to provide. Mind maps on the other hand are more suitable for brainstorming a single topic, commonly showing only one or two levels of sub topics from the main idea.
This map design using ConceptDraw PRO uses color and concept node shape to indicate hierarchical structure.
Concept maps differ again by generally using labelled arrows to link the concept nodes on the page. Each arrow is assigned a 'linking phrase'; one advantage of this is being able to show a single concept or idea within multiple contexts in regards to other ideas.
CS Odessa have long supported visual solutions for product workers, and for those who like to work with concept maps, ConceptDraw PRO offers a superior package of drawing tools, image samples, templates and learning materials to help create distinct and effective diagrams.
Rapid object clone technology and intelligent connectors allow users to create their map in an intuitive and efficient manner, expanding from the central concept as quickly as the ideas come to mind. By extending the capabilities of PRO with the Concept Map solution, as well as ConceptDraw's other mind mapping add-ons, users are given access to comprehensive vector stencil libraries that compliment any illustrative style.
Concept maps are a valuable way of sharing knowledge. ConceptDraw PRO, and other products in the ConceptDraw Office suite, offer unparalleled choice in how you share that knowledge. Set up group brainstorming sessions, display maps as presentations, import and export to PowerPoint and other popular software, and link to external sources. Help and training materials are available for each step of the process, from templates that help you get started, through to presentation guides and video tips and tricks. For building concept maps, or any diagramming task, find the solution at ConceptDraw.