Category Archives: cmaps


This week in The Internet Course we’re covering privacy & openness. The readings the class came up with in the research process mostly deal with privacy and related issues: hacking, cybercrime, identity theft, anonymity and surveillance. Zuckerberg has said the people don’t care about privacy, and people prove him right every day. Yet these articles, and many others like them, also prove him wrong. Maybe people are of mixed opinion. Maybe people are un- or under-informed. Maybe people don’t think things through. Most likely it’s all of the above.

But the openness side of the equation is just as important, if not more so. So I thought I’d take a look at it.

Open can have many meanings and implications. With regards the the web and the internet, there’s open source, open standards and protocols, open architecture … Open access is an issue much discussed in my field. Openness is baked into the DNA of the internet – connectivity and interoperability require it. And the openness of the internet enables an open sharing of thoughts, ideas and information on a whole new level. What can be accomplished through humanity’s collective creativity remains to be seen, but if history is any guide it will be profoundly transformative.

I made a little Cmap of openness as seen through three articles:


The Internet Society published a position paper last year on openness and sustainability. They visualize a virtuous circle of openness, with universal benefits for everyone derived from four principles:

Open global standards for innovation
Open communications for everyone
Open for economic progress through innovation
Open and multi-stakeholder governance for inclusion


They further discussed openness as an enabler of innovation

Sir Tim Berners-Lee did not have to ask a central authority whether or not he could write a client-server hypertext system. He wrote it; others who found the possibilities interesting downloaded clients and servers and started using it.

The article recognizes that there are IP issues that need to be negotiated with regards to an open environment. We touched on that issue this past week with the Lessig video.

There are down sides to openness, however. Allowing people to say and do things anonymously lets some people get away with putting their worst sides forward. Bullying, harassment and threats are unfortunately common online.

Astra Taylor’s article discusses the hostility that women face in the online environment and in tech culture. That makes for a vicious circle, inhibiting the diversity which could counteract the hostility. In a way, that’s opposed to openness, as it pushes people out. But it’s a result of being open to certain types of speech and behavior that are less than acceptable.

The internet lets people call out that kind of misbehavior, but there can be costs to that. Real costs, in fact. In my world, libraryland, two people called out an individual for repeated and persistent sexually aggressive behavior and were hit with a defamation lawsuit as a result. But it has served to bring the issue to the attention of many who would otherwise be unaware.


I could not figure out the HTML way to get my cmap to work.

I discussed with Groom that while my links worked, I could not easily dig back up some of my sources on the library.  I decided to just leave links out this go around and export and image.  I will work on links and html for the future.

for Creation / Consumption

for Creation / Consumption

for Digital Identity

for Digital Identity



Some Cmap help

I’m posting some links to earlier posts on Cmaps, just to make them a little easier to find. I also made a menu link on The Internet Course site for posts tagged cmap. Some of the posts aren’t there because they were tagged in the plural. This is an example of why it is important for people (including myself) to remember to use consistent tags. If it’s not spelled right, it’s not there.

Cmaps as web pages links to several help pages, and tries to walk through the process of getting a map linked in a blog post. Basically:
1. Upload the map JPG, GIF, and HTML files to your server using Cpanel and File Manager.
2. In WordPress, embed the JPG file in a blog post, like you would do with any image.
3. In WordPress, set the URL that the images links to to the URL for the HTML file you uploaded

Cmap Tools looks at a couple maps from an earlier semester as examples.

If anyone runs into trouble, let me or Jim know the problem and we’ll see what we can do to help.

Cmaps as web pages

Here are links for downloading Cmap tools, online documentation, and some short video tutorials:
Cmap Tools download page
Cmap Tools online help
Using Cmap Tools – making maps
Using Cmap Tools – adding links
earlier post on Cmaps

Here is an example of a map I made of Vannevar Bush’s seminal article, As We May Think. It’s not so much a summary as a map of thoughts about the article, but you can see some of what you can do with it. If you click on the image, it opens up the map as a web page with active links. It links back to the original article, and out to further information. The links above the map could help you figure out how to use the tool, but it’s pretty easy to just poke around the menus and see what’s what.

There are a few things you need to do to get the map online. After it’s made and saved, go to File->Export Cmap As->Web Page… This will generate an HTML file, a JPG and a GIF in whatever directory you tell it to use. You’ll need all of those. Here’s a video of the process:

Once you have your files, you’ll want to put them online. I did this by going into cPanel and using File Manager. The file needs to be in the public_html folder. I made a new folder inside of that called cmap, just to keep things organized. I went inside the cmap folder and uploaded the three files that Cmap Tools made – the HTML, the JPG and the GIF. I had named my map “As We May Think,” which in hindsight was a bad idea because I don’t know how it would handle the spaces in the file name. To fix that, I used the Rename function to take the spaces out. Then I opened a new browser tab to check if it worked. The URL for the map is my domain ( slash the folder I put it in (cmap) slash the file name (AsWeMayThink.html), or If I had put it directly in the public_html folder, the URL wouldn’t have the /cmap part. Now that I think of it, using those capital letters was a bad idea too, because it is case-sensitive. So, no spaces and no caps in your file names. It just makes life easier that way. Here’s a video clip showing what I did:

Of summaries and Cmaps

We’re putting a lot of work up front in this class, but it’s distributed to be manageable, and the load will lessen for a few weeks afterwards. This evening the class will brainstorm how we plan on approaching the main topics of The Internet Course:

how it works
how it has evolved
intellectual property/fair use
digital identity
social/economic/cultural impacts
where it’s going

Each student will be assigned two of the topics, and will be responsible for finding and summarizing three readings on each one. The results of the brainstorming session will help in finding information. Everyone will have to find different readings. To help avoid duplication, everyone will have to enter information about their readings in the Readings Form on the course site. The form feeds a spreadsheet, also visible on the page, so everyone can see what has already been taken. The instructors will vet the list. Anything deemed unacceptable will be highlighted in red, and that person will have to find something else. Readings can be research articles, reports, books, book chapters, or videos.

Each reading will have to be summarized in a blog post. The summary should give the reader a clear idea of what the article is about, what argument it makes, the major points it brings up, and the conclusions it reaches. The summary is not meant to be a review or a reaction. It is meant to save the rest of the class the time of reading the article.

Each summary needs to be tagged. In WordPress there is a box in the right-hand column for tags. The tags we will use are:

how it works
IP/fair use
digital identity

It is very important to enter the tags exactly as written above. Some readings may be appropriate for more than one category, so feel free to use more than one tag.

As a result of this process, each student will have six summary posts, three for each assigned topic. Everyone should read each others’ summaries. As a class, we will have digested a large body of knowledge, which will form the basis of our discussions over the next several weeks.

Each student will also create two concept maps. Each concept map will break down the three articles a student has summarized and draw out connections between them. We will be using Cmap Tools for this process, and we will talk more about it on Tuesday. I’m putting it out there now because the mapping process will go a lot easier if it is taken into consideration while summarizing. I will be writing more on Cmaps before Tuesday.