MAXMaps is part of all MAXQDA licenses. This module offers a new perspective on data and its inherent relationships. Its primary task is to give a graphic representation of the different elements of a MAXQDA project. These “objects” can be inserted into the map drawing pad and connections can be made in order to visualize a complex network graph. MAXMaps also allows the design of graphs or networks that are completely independent of MAXQDA’s data. All elements of MAXQDA (codes, memos, coded segments and documents) may be imported into a map. Additionally MAXMaps permits the insertion of so-called “free elements” (text, pictures and graphics).
MAXMaps can be used for different purposes. Maps can help to explore and organize data. They enable the development of ideas and their communication within a research team. Maps can also be a valuable tool for scientific explanation and can help to visualize complex relationships and theories. For instance, tables and worksheets can be created to gain a better understanding of the different elements of a project. Furthermore, it can be used for presentations and lectures. The different layers of a map may be displayed in arbitrary order, making a variety of different options for designing presentations available.
With MAXMaps it is possible to display:
- The relationships between different codes and categories
- An overview of facts and phenomena in the research field
- The different memos belonging to a document or a group of documents
- The context or important facts of a study, e.g. photographs of locations or persons
- A graphic overview of the research methods used
- A time table of the research project
- The research design and characteristics of the sample
- and much more …
MAXMaps is not simply a graphical tool with icons and symbols: all the elements in a map are interactive, meaning that they are connected to a MAXQDA project. MAXMaps allows the definition of correlations and causal links by the user. These correlations may be hypothetical, and the different maps are not required to be consistent in logic. As a result, a user is able to “play” with different models and relationships.