But aMap.org.uk has juiced up the traditional old flowchart, using the model as the inspiration behind its new online, interactive argument tools. Short for âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â‰ˆÃ¬argument map,âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Â¬Ã¹ the start-up offers a more compelling treatment for a boring yet helpful concept.
The aMaps begin with a question. For example, my argument asked, Greater evil: Small talk or petting zoos? From there you trace tiny bubbles following the logic of the argument and counter-argument. Again, my aMap espoused, âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â‰ˆÃ¬Small talk is worse than getting bit by a rabid goat.âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Â¬Ã¹
The aMaps actually come in two different versions: D.I.Y. online maps that you can start yourself, send to friends to finish and embed as widgets; as well as pocket-size aMaps, which you can buy from their website. The consumer footprint ranges everywhere from college stoner buddies looking to debate the universeâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s finer points, to do-gooder professors looking to engage students with the next generation of teaching tools.
This is definitely one of those sites you need to check out in person, as describing it with words is a bit cumbersome. But the concept is unique and the execution is slick. And even though the site is British, that probably means it will automatically become more popular in the States. How else can you explain Guy Ritchie and some of the others? Is aMap the Beatles of flowcharts? Maybe. Hopefully the partners won’t break up from each other and have to pay out millions for a couple years being together.