I really like the CMap tool, which I’ve used before. I like the fact that the links can be labeled and thus clarify the relationships between the concepts (usually via verbs). In addition, it’s easily used to convey information but also to organize it because each concept is a kind of container. You can add links, images, and other types of files.
I learned doing this that for communicating and adequately capturing something like a personal learning environment (PLE), what I long for is a moving concept map that shows change over time and thus could identify things that fade in and out of importance (sort of à la Hans Rosling). Ideally, this PLE should also use layers to make three dimensional connections between concepts. When I started, I realized that what’s interesting to me is how the “past” stuff forms a clear link to something I do now: for example, the connection I have to database publishing using FileMaker databases (circa 1995 or so) means that HTML and XML make sense to me. Looking further backward, HyperCard was my first introduction to databases, so it set the stage for my 17-year use of FileMaker. It would be great to show clearly that kind of “ancestral” link because it shows what I keep thinking of as networked-learning curves.
(Clicking on this brings up a larger version that’s easier to read.)