re: mindmapping
Tue, 3 Oct 1995 22:07:03 +0000

Responding to an earlier query about mindmapping software, Robin Hill says:

>Colin Eden did some work with mind maps through the
>1980's. I believe he used some software that he called COPE.
>I don't know where Colin is these days. I have a 1988 publication of
>his, indicating that he was at the Strathclyde Business School,
>University of Strathclyde, back then. Someone in the UK may know
>more about both Colin Eden and COPE.

Colin Eden is still at Strathclyde and his e-mail address is


COPE is very elegant but needs a lot of playing round with before one gets
the most out of it. Basically, it's a system for drawing and manipulating a
directed graph showing dependency relationships between entities (which can
be unitary, or construct-like bipolarities). Its power comes from the
possibility of "tagging" entities which, on analysis, can be classified
along with the other entities to which they are connected; and from the
ability to input mental maps from several people.

Thus, the interconnections between, say, all my constructs and all of the
constructs of colleagues in my subject-group in my department, on some
issue of mutual interest, can be identified where they show
interconnections, and sorted on whether, for example, they _are_ to do with
"issues of strategic importance" to our department but NOT "to do with
teaching as opposed to administration", where we have all agreed to tag the
constructs according to these characteristics. If you see what I mean.

Like many of our constructivist methods of analysis and description, the
main excitement comes from the process by which we discuss and interact
with one another and the system: rather than from a piece of software which
processes inputs into an output on a "here's the result of my computations"
basis, which it ain't.

Well, ish. I've no great expertise with COPE. But Colin has, so it would be
best to contact him directly!

Kindest regards,

Devi Jankowicz.