We have been extolling the virtues of mind-mapping for a long time. This technique of linking personally relevant information can be done manually or with special purpose software. Regardless of method used, building a good personal mind-map can take years. We have been using The Brain software for over 10 years and have built up a fairly useful map. It contains the projects we have done at various companies, things we have found to be interesting on the web, and miscellaneous thoughts we didn’t want to forget.
One of the problems with using The Brain or any of the other mind-mapping software is the program still ran best on “real” computers (laptops, desktops) and not on tablets or cell phones. So we were pretty excited when Google announced and rolled out Knowledge Graph yesterday. Knowledge Graph is an enhancement to Google’s search engine. While the Knowledge Graph is not strictly mind-mapping, it has a lot of the things we want out of a mind-map.
The best part about creating your own mind-mapping database is the accumulated data is highly personalized, but that is also its biggest limitation. The mind-maps we have created are nodes of information we have linked together because they were relevant to us. Google may not link the same information in the same way. What we would love is to have a way to connect our own personalized mind-maps with Google’s broader deeper Knowledge Graph out on the Web. Hopefully, Google is thinking along these same line.
Google’s goal is to make the search engine more intelligent, to actually understand what the user is searching for instead of just matching words in the query string. This requires an understanding of semantics, a very challenging goal. Currently, Google’s Knowledge Graph has over 500 million people, places and things and those things have at least 3.5 billion attributes. It is a very promising start, but those are the obvious connections. When the Knowlege Graph starts making non-obvious connections, THAT is when the things will really start to get interesting!