Employ mind mapping for meaningful overview


Gwenola Michaud - GM Consulting

Written by Gwenola Michaud 

eage mind map

Employ mind mapping for meaningful overview


Gwenola Michaud - GM Consulting

Writen by Gwenola Michaud 

eage mind map

Mind mapping in practice: 100 EAGE First Break articles on a

landscape map

In summer 2021, when I began the position as Chair of the EAGE First Break Editorial board, I dove into the last 12 issues of First Break and its 97 published articles. When starting a new project or activity, I like to start with mapping what’s already been established, to get an overview of the project’s landscape or situation. In

this instance, the exercise uncovered the First Break perspective, capturing the main subjects of interest for the European Geoscience and Engineering Community.

By assigning categorization for each new element to consider, I could identify the potential relationship between topics and themes, making the overall analysis of each thread and its memorization easier. Placing all the articles on one single map also facilitated the identification of trends, their relative sizes and overall group sizes based on the selected categorization. All fascinating for the scientist that I am!

To navigate efficiently through the different papers, I linked each paper element to its Digital Object Identifier (DOI) on the EAGE First Break platform, creating a dynamic landscape. Doing so allowed me to navigate between the mind map and the EAGE First Break papers, and helped refine the categorization to ensure that it remained relevant and that groupings became neither too large nor too small.

Of course, such map should be updated on a monthly basis and be extended to cover the earlier years that I did not examine. Nonetheless, it is a simple example of how creating a knowledge map, which can then be shared and refined on a regular basis, can service broader understanding and contextualization of specific topics and themes.

From this exercise, it was interesting to appreciate the diversity of the topics from technical (data acquisition, processing, modelling, and interpretation) through to integration (near surface to reservoir characterization and monitoring) that First Break has covered. It was a pleasant surprise to realize how well-represented topics like energy transition and underground storage exploration have been in the past 12 issues. In addition to demonstrating the shift toward new business and activities, these papers show how broadly geoscience and engineering can be applied.

World Economic Forum's Transformation Maps – a continuously refreshed and dynamic

knowledge database

Later, I came across the World Economic Forum’s transformation maps, which they’ve been publishing since 2017. This is an amazing source of knowledge covering various relevant issues, from climate change to the future of work and education, that is updated on an ongoing basis.


These maps are meant to explore and illustrate complex and interlinked factors, which are transforming our economies and industries. Behind these maps, machine learning algorithms connect more than 250 topics creating connections and inter-dependencies between categorizations and publications. It’s a fantastic

tool for technical leaders to get information and knowledge.


Each transformation map has a dynamic feed of the latest research and analysis drawn from leading research institutions and media outlets around the world. These feeds enable users to access the latest research on a topic by clicking a link that takes them to the original source. To take an example using the energy sector, the topic of Driving Energy Technology Innovation is of particular interest. This categorization is associated to hydrogen, batteries and circular economy, to cite only three sub-categories.

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Mind Mapping – An effective tool for cooperation, communication and

knowledge exchange within teams

Mind mapping has a wealth of applications that are relevant to any project activity.  From brainstorming to collating and organizing concepts, priorities and principles, through to decision-making and planning implementation, this tool can support right throughout project design and implementation. Useful when collaborating within and between teams, it can also be used to analyze problems and to explore root causes. Mind mapping allows for rapid idea generation and keeps focus laser-sharp. Finally, it’s a tool that allows a team to shape a collective view of a complex situation, and assists in making informed decisions. Mind mapping is a flexible and user-driven process.

How to start a Mind Map?

There are no set rules as to how you might approach mind mapping; the point is to avoid being bound to any kind of thought-limiting framework. One way to start is to place an image or key theme for the particular map at the center of your page or screen and build the constituent themes around it. From this root, emerge branches, one per main topic. One branch could then lead to sub-branches or sub-topics, to which key words are then associated. And there’s no rush! Working through a mind map with a considered approach will produce the kind of overview from which you build the framework or platform for your next activity.

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360° Energy and Environment Consultant

Geoscience & Monitoring Consulting (GMC) is delivering project management and digital solutions to guide innovative and technical leaders.

Gwenola Michaud - GM Consulting

Gwenola Michaud

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

20 years of expertise in managing people and projects, as well as developing, testing and delivering software solutions to improve team success and business growth.

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