Saturday, April 27, 2024

Knowledge Mapping: Preparing for Two Upcoming -- related but different -- Presentations

Knowledge Mapping has been an interest of mine for years, perhaps a couple of decades now.  While I have treated it as a niche area of interest and expertise rather than a specific service or method, I now have the freedom to explore and see if there is more to it.  More recently, knowledge mapping has led me to knowledge graphs and a whole new world of technology-enhanced mapping.  

And now I have an opportunity to talk about Knowledge Mapping in a more public arena, through my friends at Consult KM International on May 23rd and then with the KMGN Research Community on June 19th.  As I prepare for the presentations, I am faced with a couple of challenges.  I have not had to explain knowledge mapping to many people. I tried it in February with a small, safe audience and I learned a few things from that. Most importantly, I need to be as clear as possible about what I mean by "knowledge mapping", how it can be used -- without overwhelming the audience with too many examples -- and I need to stick to a relatively simple message.  However it's okay to say "I'm still exploring this and I don't have success stories or proof that it works in every context".

I have also not been very consistent with names.  I call it "Applied Insight Mapping" and "Insight Mapping" on this site.  I've called it "KMAPs" when I was doing mapping at NASA.  I've also referred to it as conversation mapping because I was using maps to document Pause and Learn sessions which are essentially facilitated conversations.

Knowledge Mapping in the context of Knowledge Management can also refer to a specific set of practices meant to document organizational knowledge.  I apply the term more broadly to refer to any visual representation of a knowledge domain that relies on words and concepts rather than images, with a focus on relationships between components of the map (nodes).  That's where it connects with knowledge graphs.

So, how do I coherently talk about something that has been so deeply engrained in my work for so many years. Serendipity to the rescue.  I opened LinkedIn and came across a post that points to this course:  Curse of Knowledge for Specialists.  I must have posted about the curse of knowledge in the past but here I need to watch that I don't fall prey to this cognitive bias as I prepare for this presentation. 

The two presentations are related but intended for different audiences.  The first one will focus on "mapping" and its possible applications, based on 20+ years of experience with concept mapping, and touching on knowledge graphs perhaps just at the end while the second presentation is more about my learning journey looking forward, exploring knowledge graphs as a (scaled and automated) extension of concept mapping. 

For more information about these upcoming presentations:

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