MindV is a new browser-based mind mapper that uses Silverlight. It has a ribbon interface and a surprisingly good selection of mind mapping functions for a version 1.0 product, with new features promised (more later). There are one or two rough edges, but the user interface and feel when editing maps already make it more like a desktop product.
It should be useful for project management – basic task information and other items can be stored with each node:
- Start and due dates,
- priority and completion flags.
- rich text notes panel
- URL attachments
- local maps
If you have FreeMind files (.mm) or MindManager files (.mmap), you can upload these and it will display them in MindV.
Here’s an imported FreeMind file showing the original and a thumbnail of its appearance in MindV:
The original was not very beautiful, and MindV does a good job of reproducing it, other than the outline shape. Next is a MindManager map as it appears after import. It was a large map so many branches are minimized:
Again, a good reproduction of the original. MindV cannot re-export to either FreeMind or MindManager formats yet, so no round-trip is possible, but MindManager export is expected “next month”. There are already important export options though, and I’ll get to those later.
Maps can be saved to your ‘folders’ online, or locally as a .vmap file on your PC. A .vmap file is actually a compressed (zip) file, containing XML, XSD and an image of the map. The XML file does not appear to be using a schema that other mind mapping software can use directly.
Online maps can be encrypted when saved, and made ‘private’ or public. They can be shared with others for viewing or editing, according to how you set permissions.
Export options at present are to the following:
- Html in the form of indented outline text with bullets
- PNG image
- JPG image
- MS Word
- PDF document
- MS Project XML
- and the site can generate code for you to embed in a web page. There’s an example at the foot of this post.
Maps are locked when a user is editing them, so even shared maps do not support simultaneous multi-user editing. The developers say they plan to introduce this function around the end of this year.
I am chatting with the developers via email and will update this post as things progress.
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