I’m starting to work on my thesis more directly and I (Ryan) wanted to start by organizing my thoughts in a flow-chart kind-of-way. (I’ve used Compendium… but that one seems to be more for decision-making kinds of things.) After doing a quick online search for concept-mapping software reviews I came accross a couple of webpages (Concept Mapping Homepage, and especially Overview of Windows Graphical Brainstorming Tools ) which had some links and information about several software packages. I really liked PersonalBrain because it had a crisp, smooth interface but it was way too expensive for me to buy. I also liked the AXON Idea Processor because it could work with a spreadsheet-like interface and produce more visually-looking representations of models/processes (alas, this didn’t have a very pleasing interface and it was also quite expensive). I eventually went with CmapTools since it was free, it has a simple interface and I could get going pretty quickly. My needs were pretty simple, I just wanted to start laying out some thoughts on one of two routes for my thesis topic. One direction for my thesis is to develop multiple farm-level models to see where/why farmers might choose to grow oilseeds into their crop rotations while maximizing profit and minimizing risk. The other direction is to develop a regional model for the Willamette Valley to understand if/where/why oilseed crops would be grown in the Valley given the recent policy developments in the area of oilseed crop subsidies in Oregon. I have a working flowchart depicting this thesis which I have posted on my Thesis Work page.
Source: Ryan Siegel Here