Re: Knowledge Maps #mapping

Patrick Lambe

Hi Matt

Just to recast your enquiry: maps of any kind are shaped by their purposes - to aid navigation, exploitation, demarcation and identity, power claims, memory, sensemaking, to name but a few. An inventory of purposes (if you manage to compile one) should help to clarify a typology of forms, and they should help identify useful processes and tools (to modify slightly the sequence of your question elements). In knowledge mapping I think we tend to get hung up on either on the form we are familiar with first, or on the process we use to develop a map, and think too little about the originating need or purpose. So as always you have engineered a fascinating quest!

In my experience maps of knowledge (whether intra-organisation, community-based or societal) tend to serve the following functions:

Locate knowledge resources and "owners"
Show relationships between any combination of knowledge resources, people, locations, activities/processes
Track flows of information and knowledge
Identify gaps (can exploit map forms produced for other purposes)
Track development of knowledge, trends in knowledge landscapes
Aid navigation of knowledge resources (eg taxonomies and site structures)
Find rationalisation/"tidying up"/efficiency opportunities
Assess value of resources (this could just as well be an inventory, but a map could help illustrate the multiplication potential from combining resources)
Improve the exploitation of knowledge resources

In terms of your example request, I have some short video clips explaining how we use knowledge maps as part of a knowledge audit activity at


Patrick Lambe


Have you seen our KM Method Cards or
Organisation Culture Cards?

On Aug 24, 2009, at 12:44 PM, Matt Moore wrote:


I am interested in knowledge mapping exercises that organisations have engaged in (& apologies to Stan for cross-posting, there is a reason tho).

The key things I am after are:
- What the purpose behind the exercise was.
- What techniques were used.
- What the outputs looked like (obviously there may be confidentiality issues here).
- What was then done with the outputs & what impact they had.

I'm currently doing some work with a client who have different groups all producing things they call "knowledge maps". Each group are doing this for different reasons & using techniques - and hence getting different outputs.

While I encourage then to focus on the "why", it's tweaked my curiosity & I'd like to see other examples of these things.

I may produce a "knowledge map gallery/atlas" if I get sufficient responses (& obviously confidential responses won't go in that).



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