Visual learning
April 27, 2005 12:01 AM   Subscribe

I find that learning from visual reference (diagrams, animations, movies) is very effective for me. I'm looking for some good online resources that will help me utilize this.

I am surprised at the lack of sysems (scienctific, anthropological, mechanical, etc..) described in simulation or visual form. Help direct me to some sites that might give me what I'm lookin for. has some good stuff but I'm sure there is better stuff out there.
posted by foraneagle2 to Education (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: wikipedia diagrams show a wide variety of diagram styles has good animations describing systems in automobiles

In addition to mechanics though, I am interested in seeing social or political systems, big-scale systems (meteorology, geology, evolution, etc...) and behavioral systems represented in a similar form. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
posted by foraneagle2 at 12:14 AM on April 27, 2005

The wikipedia diagrams link was bad. Correct:
posted by pracowity at 12:16 AM on April 27, 2005

The material may be somewhat dated at this point by you may be interested in Understanding USA.
posted by quadog at 12:45 AM on April 27, 2005

Not an online resource, but Dorling Kindersley (located, surprisingly, at -- sorry, Donkey Kong fans!) is a publisher known for its highly visual reference works.
posted by jjg at 12:58 AM on April 27, 2005

I'm the same. And was struggling with learning non-technical issues before I learned to draw mind maps. Try that - you'll be amazed I hope like I was.
posted by keijo at 1:13 AM on April 27, 2005

You should look at Edward Tufte's books.
posted by yclipse at 2:46 AM on April 27, 2005

You might be interested in the discipline of systems thinking. It is quite woolly, but some practitioners manage to cut through the nonsense. The diagram techniques are quite useful in looking at situations from a fresh perspective. I've no time to google for resources right now, but the terms systems, "systems thinking", "mind map", "multiple cause diagram", "rich picture" and "influence diagram" might yield results. I did notice that some of these were not mentioned on the Wikipedia diagrams entry.
posted by nthdegx at 4:49 AM on April 27, 2005

If you're interested in learning Java programming or Design Patterns, the Head First series might be a good start. I believe there are a few other series of computer programming books that use a visual style but, since that doesn't work too well for me, I've kind of ignored them so I can't remember what they are.
posted by matildaben at 6:15 AM on April 27, 2005

FreeMind is a 'Mind Map' tool that I swear by. You can make charts, move things around, link back, embed images, change colors and fonts.

Make sure to dig and get the newest beta, which is 8.0b2, I think. it's much better than 0.7.1.
posted by unixrat at 12:11 PM on April 27, 2005

Mark Lombardi (1951-2000) created incredibly complex diagrams of social interactions. (such as international banking scandals) also here, and here.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:01 PM on April 27, 2005

Response by poster: mindmaps are cool
posted by foraneagle2 at 2:22 PM on April 27, 2005

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