A bit more thinking about treemaps. I almost wish (actually, not “almost”) they were called something other than “tree- maps.” The name no doubt has an important history in the realm of this branch of programming or visual info display or whatnot. But a “tree” conjures the mental image of – well, a tree. The Tinderbox maps tend to conjure up something more like, well, just “maps.” Or maybe “city maps,” and in fact a city map is what it most resembles to me. I wonder if the visuals are a bit off with the name and that might lead people to “forget to remember” (a hypnosis term) that they are there.
But that might be a loss. Because they can become a bit addictive as a Tinderbox document grows. One reason for that is that they have some potential (not entirely realized yet) to help with something that I often think is a missing element in Tinderbox. Like other users, I kind of live both in several Tinderbox docs and also in both DEVONthink and in TheBrain. I have many thousands of notes in each of these. But I have tended to see Tinderbox more as something akin to using Google, in that while I often know or recall that yes, there is “something in there somewhere” bearing on a topic, it is often not readily visible. The big structure is hard to see in big documents. Yes, you can make some stunning map views or even chart views which give you some clues to connecting notes (and there are other tricks like finding similar notes, which happens in both Tinderbox and DEVONthink). But at times the various sorts of views obtainable in TheBrain can at least _seem to_be a bit more compelling. These are admittedly still usually partial views of a small part of a universe of notes, so the sense of having more “visible real-estate” in TheBrain may be illusory – it’s often more like playing a video game wherein clicking on a thought is like opening a new door that reveals six or sixteen other doors you otherwise did not see (but you then can’t see where you just were.) But I still often find that making relationship connections as I add things can give me at least a feeling that I’m “seeing more of what’s there,” and also that I am actually learning more, making more mental connections.
Treemaps might offer the same benefits. Maybe even moreso. But access somehow to more information – links, notes’ content, is not often present. I suppose one could structure TBX docs to facilitate this (clear container labels and good organization can really help, for instance.) Probably there is already more one can do with them to advance toward that ideal. The universe in a glance – a humble enough aspiration!