Monday, July 9, 2007

Blending Mind Maps with Wikipedia

Following up on the topic, of how to use wikis to organize research literature about a given topic.

I have been thinking about the idea of keeping wikis to keep track of the state-of-the-art in any field. One way to organize the literature is to transform an existing survey article into a wiki and let people edit at-will (e.g., see this article on duplicate record detection). Another alternative is to keep a set of tables in a wiki, which summarize the results of a paper in a single line (e.g., see here and here for NLP-related tasks).

A problem with both approaches is the lack of a network that will allow people to mark and annotate the relations across different papers. The idea of using CMapTools ( was interesting but I could not manage to install the software to see how it really works.

Today, I run into WikiMindMap, a web-based service that uses the wiki structure to convert Wikipedia articles into a mind map. The heuristics that it uses are rather basic but one could use this tool to organize the literature in a wiki (having the advantage of collaboration), and still have all the advantages of a visual tool that can show connections across entities. See for example the wikified article, mentioned above, transformed into a mind map.