About mindmaps of old

historyofmindmappingAn updated history of mind mapping

Mind mapping has a very long history. Arguably it all started with the Tree of Porphyry, a Syrian philosopher.

  • The first time the word mind map is used is  in the book of Charles Williams.
  • The first mind maps as we know them appear around 1200, mainly to memorize texts better.
  • The first mind map in the twentieth century is by Walt Disney (not only great mind map, but also the first cross medial strategy).
  • The first mind map book is by Tony Buzan.
  • The first computer mind map is from Peter Barrett.
  • The first commercial software was MindMan

7 Responses to About mindmaps of old

  1. Anne-Marie says:

    I have been using mind maps since 1970……………I learned at school how to use them. They were always commonly used then in the UK…………I then went on to learn more when studying in London in the mid seventies.

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  3. iNotes4You says:

    Thanks Hans for publishing this great map.
    What we can see when we look on early maps is near to our brain wherein uncountable interconnections between cells are the basis of intelligence, knowledge, creativity, and imagination.
    So mind maps are extremely close to the nature of human beings and beyond.
    I think this may be the reason that we find this technique already some hundred years ago.
    It just reflects what’s going on in our brain.
    Thanks again.

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  5. I have always found the historical articles on mind mapping interesting, but not necessarily of value. Ideas often occur simultaneously in multiple places, in variations some would consider separate ideas, with different cultural flavors, and at various times. For me the issue has always been not who thought of something first, but rather who IMPLEMENTED it effectively first. I’ve had hundreds of ideas over the years before I heard of anyone else having them, but never bothered to attempt to implement or failed to effectively implement. I’m sure we could find tens of thousands of examples of early mind mapping of various kinds had the maps been recorded in a way we can retrieve today. The issue is not who was first, but who was first to get an IMPLEMENTATION that was useful to a large group of people. By my definition, Buzan was clearly the “father” of mind mapping because he developed an OVERALL SYSTEM of mind mapping for memory, brainstorming, meeting recording, etc., that proved to be of sufficient value that it was adopted world-wide both in the original hard-drawn form and in a creative computer-assisted form that closely parallels what he discovered from the original hand-drawn work.

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