I like the idea of word maps. They force students to think beyond dictionary definitions and parts of speech when it comes to vocabulary learning. However, what I'd rather do is have my students engage in each word map activity one step at a time. They might find it more engaging that way...hopefully.
day 1: introduce the word, definition & part of speech...have students put the definition in their own words
day 2: have students come up with synonyms (examples) and antonyms (non examples)
day 3: create a visual interpretation of the word (symbol)
day 4: come up with other forms of the word
day 5: sort words into categories
day 6: reread the word in context and create an original sentence using the word (or another form of it)
We'll see how it goes!