Sharing and interchange for mind maps – Eric Blue’s viewer

Quite a few months ago, Eric Blue called for a mind maps standard format.  Nothing much seemed to come out of that for a while, so I started gathering together in one place enough information to make it possible to have some form of transfer using XSLT.  I have a good collection of this information now, and will be publishing that soon.  As Douglas Adams said “I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by.”

Now Eric has another initiative, which supports the general spirit of his original movement: A multi-product mind map viewer that will take a mind map in one format and, via a FreeMind conversion, make it possible to embed it in a web page.  It can produce a Flash or Java mind map from one that you submit.  For now it can accept only a MindManager 5, 6 or 7 (.mmap) file, but Eric’s intention is to accommodate others.

Of course, this produces results that are read only, but anything that makes mind maps more accessible is a good thing in my book.

You can try out the viewer here:

Good move Eric!


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Singapore claims world-beating mind map

Singapore has claimed that a two-tennis-court sized mindmap all about Singapore itself, is the world’s largest:


There are hints of an even larger one (“well over the size of a football field”) here: but that’s in Second Life, so it’s virtual.  I’d call that pushing the claim a bit, wouldn’t you?



Chuck’s latest mind mapping survey

The results of Chuck Frey’s latest mind mapping survey are out.  This one was about web-based mind mapping applications.  It was aimed at learning how the mind mapping community uses them and looking at how we view their advantages, disadvantages and potential.

This is a formative stage of mind mapping software development, and this collation of views will undoubtedly be useful to the software publishers, and help users’ voices be heard.

Here’s where to go to learn more, and download your own copy:



ConceptDraw’s mind-map sharing site

Our friends at ConceptDraw* have just announced an interesting new site for sharing mind maps over at ( takes you to the same place).

They accept maps in many file formats, not just their own ConceptDraw.  MindManager, VisualMind, NovaMind, MindGenius, iMindMap and FreeMind maps can all be submitted.  You can also submit mind maps in image form, including hand-drawn ones.  It would be good if there were some type of browsing capability, with thumbnails, say.

They have some running to do to catch up with the Topicscape Mindmaps Directory, which had almost 600 [updated Dec’09] 1,126 maps, last time I looked.  That just has links to maps on their original sites, but it does tag and classify maps and has thumbnails, which makes it easy to browse.

I’ll be adding this new site to MindMapSearch soon.


* I would link to the ConceptDraw site, but it’s rated red in SiteAdvisor, and I don’t want to get the same treatment!  Can’t you fix that Odessa guys?

OK Now! [updated Dec’09]


Knowledge mapping for communities

I really liked a slideshow that comes from a group at the Open University, UK, so I did a write-up to alert like-minded thinkers.  It’s about different forms of visualizing information, knowledge, argument, debate and evidence.  I’ve done a quick write up in my Seminal papers in information mapping section of mind mapping articles.

Favourite moment? This provocative (but I maybe not-too-serious) idea for the search engines:


 It’s called Knowledge Mapping for Open Sensemaking Communities



MindMeister introduces off-line option

Users of MindMeister (well, Premium users, anyway) now have the option to take their mind maps offline:

This long-anticipated addition to web-based applications’ capabilities will surely have to be emulated by the other web-based mind mapping software developers. 

Then, can the publishers of all the desktop mind mapping software packages afford to be left behind?



Bookvar, Debatemapper and Protégé

Last weekend, I though I’d pretty well cleared the decks for a while in the search to report information mapping software.  Wrong again.   

Protégé-Frames – This is the main component of Stanford University’s Protégé knowledge modeller.  It supports  a knowledge model which is compatible with the Open Knowledge Base Connectivity protocol (OKBC).   It was originally developed to model knowledge in biomedicine, but it is now used in many diverse areas such as intelligence gathering, and corporate modeling.


Protégé OWL – Protégé OWL was made as an extension of Protégé to support OWL.  OWL stands for Web Ontology Language and is one of the components of the Sematic Web.  Anyone who wonders why OWL is not called WOL clearly has not read Christopher Robin.


Debatemapper – Debatemapper is a free web-based tool for collaboratively modelling and evaluating debates and joins several other argument-mapping tools on


Bookvar – This is mind mapping software at the “almost-Beta” stage at present — it also requires a Beta version of MS .Net so it’s only for the brave.  It’s desktop software but has a shared mode for collaboration via connected computers and supports publication on a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.