The Mind-Mapping Wiki

In a post some months ago, I promised to tell you more about WikIT, the mind mapping wiki but kept getting distracted.  Now I have found a few minutes to keep my word.

WikIT is a facinating resource.  It takes the line that different uses of ‘information maps’ (I’m planning a post about that phrase!) are best served by different map types and different rules.  And it goes right ahead and supports this line with examples and advice.

This wiki covers the many types of maps – mind maps, concept maps, argument maps and others.  It explains the variations and how you might choose one type if you’re learning something, another type if you’re planning a new project, and something else again if you’re doing some deep analysis.  The main map types are introduced in a summary article here that branches out to many other pages.

WikIT's mind mapping wiki

Although it looks a lot like Wikipedia, and has the same types of search facilities, WikIT often uses mind maps for navigation – that must be a boon – and takes advantage of MindManager 8’s ability to deliver Flash and PDF mind maps that work, as well as looking pretty.  You can click a link that will open a map from WikIT in your browser and start exploring.

The best place to start is the list of all the subjects covered by the wiki.  Visit that and, if you’re like me, it will set you off on clicking trail from subject to subject.  Not all articles are complete, but the planning has been pretty comprehensive (I detect planning by mind map!)

Information Tamers, who put this wiki together, have also remedied a hole in my site by adding a list of free mapping software on one of its pages.  Price is a selection criterion that I didn’t think to include when I was deciding on the controls in the ‘Refine software list’ tab, and when I was approached for permission to use all the information I was happy to see it drawn on and filtered in this way.  I always am, provided the source is acknowledged and linked to with a “follow” link.  “Free” is the price that people are most often seeking for software, as well!

The master list of mind mapping &
information management software

Google adds Debategraph, Maltego, MindBerry and Prezi

This week on, I have added four new visual thinking tools, Debategraph, Maltego, MindBerry and Prezi.


This is a wiki tool that allows public debates to be conducted in a visual environment.



Described as a forensics application for the mining, gathering and representation of information in a meaningful way, this is a flexible development of an application once known as ‘Evolution’.



Mind mapping for the BlackBerry.  AFAIK the sole offering on that phone, compared with at least eight for the iPhone.  Must be cool to have the market to yourself!



Prezi is a beautifully designed and elegant zooming approach to presentations.  Freedom from PowerPoint’s one-screen-after-another at last, offering a fluid flow through the ideas to be exhibited.


The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


Cohere, Headspace, iThoughts, Jambalaya, Lovely Charts, ThinkDigits, TPAssist, Webspiration

It’s been a month since the last update to, and the list of items to add has built up more sharply than usual so I decided it was time to clear the decks.  Apart from anything else, iPhone is keeping mindmappers busy with low-cost software to play with and there’s a new and imaginative application appearing every few days it seems.

Cohere is a browser based collaborative visual thinking tool that allows many users to develop discussions and arguments on line and has more than a hint of concept maps about it.

This iPhone application occupies the space partway between a 3D outliner and a mind mapper.

This is an impressive attempt to bring mind mapping to the screen of the iPhone.  

I have successfully imported large FreeMind maps to iThoughts.  With such a tiny screen, a large map is hard to make use of, but that can’t be blamed on iThoughts.

Jambalaya is a plug-in for Protégé that allows domain experts to building knowledge-based systems to visualize ontologies.

Lovely Charts
A free basic diagrammer that works in your browser and has subscription-based collaboration options.

This is a fascinating fusion of information mapping and calculation.  Numbers in a calculator are normally pure abstraction, and this gives them real world context.  True creativity.

TPassist is an add on for MindManager aimed at enhancing time, task and project management using mind maps.

This web based version of Inspiration is now in public Beta, and free for now.

To see all the latest additions, just follow this link to additions to since 14th February 2009.

Vic Gee
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


bCisive, GenIE & SMILE, Outliner 2.0

On this week there are four new entries in the master list – three graphical and one a related development platform.


bCisive is software for business decision making and diagramming.  It supports building and communicating business cases as well as documenting the reasoning behind decisions.



GeNIe is a user-friendly development environment for graphical decision-theoretic models. It is the Windows user interface to SMILE, which is a portable library of C++ classes implementing the models.


Outliner 2.0

Outliner is an outliner for mobile phones and PDAs.  It lets you create your outlines with desktop software and import them.


The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


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



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.




Latest additions to mindmapping software

I fell behind with getting new information mapping tools that I knew of into, so here’s the catch-up: Six new tools, and very interesting ones they are. 

This week’s entries are heavy on the development side.  The first four are to help developers build software that produces information maps, then one that helps web publishers turn mind maps into websites, and finally one that lets you present the pros and cons of a discussion visually.

Graph Gear – This provides Javascript and Flash scripts to help developers build these force-directed graphs – you know, the kind that wobble as you drag a node around.


JSViz – Javascript code to build network graphs.  You’ve probably seen these used to map out a website. I had one for once . . . now where did I put it . . .


JGraph -A Java library that can produce a most flexible series of diagram types.  There is an open source version and there are commercial products for developers who have to earn a living.

 t270-1.jpg    t270-2.jpg    t270-3.jpg

I usuually pick just one thumbnail to represent a product’s style.  This one has so many possibilities that a mere three hardly begins to show the range. 

MxGraph – A Javascript library to help developers make browser-based diagrams.


TransLucid – This is a content management system (CMS) with a twist: It takes you from mindmaps to websites, automatically.  It has open source and commercial versions.


Argunet – Collaborative debate and visual argument presentation and analysis.


And finally, a note about terms: I’ve been using web-based as a description for many months now for products that are mostly accessed on the web, rather than being desktop products.  Some if the new programs above are libraries that developers can use to build their own products, and they build on web-browsers’ capabilities instead of including all the functionality in the mapping software itself.  When you see the description browser-based on, you’ll know that this is not just another term for web-based. Instead it means a product implemented in a web-browser.  The value of such products is that they are Operating System (OS) independent.

I believe that web-based software makers are going to have to produce ways of running those locally in a browser eventually, so this distinction will probably disappear eventually.