Topic Mapping

For some time I have wanted to take concept or topic mapping, into the computing sphere of legal research. Topic or concept mapping essentially means mapping our ideas and knowledge in a visual format, a boon for the visual learners out there. The tool I have been looking at is Grokker. Utilizing the free preview of Grokker I have run a search that illustrates how it works.

If you select the chaoulli search that I have linked to below, you will be taken to the Grokker search page. Once you have followed the link, select: Zoomable Map on the left hand side of the page. (You may have to install Java.)

Search for “chaoulli”

Once you have done this you will see how the concept map has connected the various topics related to the chaoulli case. Then select a specific ballon to zoom in and view more associations connected to this topic. At the right you will find the link to the page should you wish to view it. As you might be able to imagine, taken into an educational context this software could be used to make linkages amongst topics or in the specific legal context, a visual representation of a noted up case or rules. After all, knowledge on the internet does seem to be awfully text heavy whereas humans often understand concepts by imagery.

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