Ajaxsketch, Basket and Ideatree

Three new items this week: An on-line diagrammer that can be used for mind and concept maps, and information manager that gives flexibility in how things are organised, and what may be the earliest on-line concept mapper going back to 2002 but which seems to have had little attention.


This is part of the Ajax13 suite of browser-based applications that, at the time of writing, needs Firefox.


Basket is for Linux – KDE – an outliner-type approach to organising information.


Surprisingly, this free, web-based, collaborative concept mapper goes back to 2002. I’ve been saying that Mayomi (now defunct) was the first on-line information mapper, but now I’m not so sure.



Dendroscope, LinkSViewer, Shared Space, Skrbl, Surfulater and Solution Language Tool

Some new information organizing and visualization software for you.  Things got behind as I put together the web-based mindmappers reference pages (see my post of 14th December, 2007) and continued working on the interoperability reference resource.  The web-based one is done, as previously announced here, and the interop one is approaching first publication. 

But the entries for the mind mapping software database kept piling up, so I had a clear out over the holidays, and I bring you six new programs.


Information mapping for a very specialised area, evolutionary biology, but this could be stretched to other forms of hiearchical visualization, and anyway it’s free.



This is a web-based service that gathers together information about people, companies, educational establishments and all sorts of relationships and turns them into an interconnected map.  A concept map of sorts.


Shared Space

An information management tool with a mind-mapping influence.



Not a mind mapping tool, but an on-line whiteboard that would allow collaborative mapping.


Organize files in an advanced form of outline, with graphics and web pages in a browsing screen.


Solution Language Tool

A mind map and activity map editor.  No easy download for the free trial, instead you must fill in a form having five mandatory fields.


Finally, a historical note:  Rationale has been in the database since July 2007, but I just learnt of Reason!Able that it replaced, and added it for the record.

Happy New Year!

 Update: Corrected spelling of Surfulater.  December 28, 2007


All those web-based mind mappers – in one place!

You know all those web-based mind mapping applications?  Well, I’ve been happily digging around for the past couple of weeks and putting all the information together and at last it’s published.  Now you can see at one web site which applications are totally free or, for the subscription ones, what you get for their free limited option.


Here’s the front page:

The pages show which ones are absolutely free, the costs and options for the subscription ones and what you can get for free at those sites, and what level of publishing, sharing and collaboration each supports.


Most importantly, there’s a visualization to show at a glance which web-based mind mapping application can import or export MindManager and FreeMind:


I’ve included some web-based outliners as well, and some diagramming and whiteboard sites, provided they support sharing or collaborations.

So now there’s no excuse.  Get out there and get mapping, get collaborating and share your maps – while it’s free!



The shakeout begins?

Two One of the web-based mind mappers are is not answering the doorbell.

Kayuda.com and Bubble-mind.com is are both showing “cannot display” pages after about 30 seconds of trying. 

Update: Happily, Kayuda is still around.  http://mindmaps.kayuda.com/ is fine.  Only http://www.kayuda.com/ and http://kayuda.com/ are the ones that give the ‘cannot display’ message. Permanent redirect anyone?

The flowering of so many Web 2.0 mind mapping sites over the last ten months was bound to lead to some sort of rationalisation eventually, but these barely got off the ground before vanishing. 

It’s a pity – I like them both.  Kayuda had has the mind-maps-or-concept-maps approach, including verb phrases to show how concepts are connected.


Updated: 19/10/2007


The initiative to facilitate exchange of mindmaps and concept maps

In the spirit of the well-established move towards open or semi-open file formats, at Mind-Mapping.org I recently began a new initiative.

This is to collect information about the format of mind- and concept map files, or the format of exported structured files.  The intent is to make public those formats for which the software publishers give permission.  Over time, I hope that there will not only be file format descriptions, but instructions for conversion and descriptions of limitations.  I am willing to co-ordinate the gathering of this information.

There are benefits to users, spelled out below, and I believe these benefits will bring benefits to software publishers and vendors for reasons explained here.

User benefits:

  1. Keen mindmappers are starting to work with both desktop products and web-based ones, according to the circumstances around a specific mapping task.  They use different platforms and want the ability to interchange freely;
  2. users want to be able to interchange maps made in different products;
  3. users will be more temped to try out products if they can use their own material without the need to recreate from scratch.
  4. users contemplating trying a new product will have the confidence of knowing that they can revert without needing to redo all work done during the trial period, thus increasing the likelyhood that they will commit to the trial.

Some products offer limited interchange.  The fact that these actions are not freely possible with a wide range of products is a limit to growth on the whole field of mindmapping and concept mapping and therefore a limit to growth on the mapping software market.

I’ve written to all publishers of mind mapping and concept mapping software for whom I can find a contact email.  I asked if they are willing to make public either the format of map files produced by their product or of any exported files.  I hope to be able to show this information by links to an appropriate page on their site or by locating the material at Mind-mapping.org.  In either case, I hope to have a copy of the material at mind-mapping.org to ensure continuity of the link.

Naturally, I shall honour any future request from the software publisher to remove these materials.

I have already received many favorable responses, some with immediate information, others with promises to gather the material or supply it later.  There’s been only one outright rejection so far, so it seems that the general view is, like mine, that expanding interoperability will expand the market, and that’s as good for the mind mapping software publishers as it is for the users.

I’ll be reporting progress here.

The master list of mind mapping &
information management software


New/updated entries on the mind mapping software list

New: Curio – I mentioned this project management software with mind mapping built in recently in the blog and now it’s up on mind-mapping.org.


New: Free outliner Task Coach has been added.


New: BrainStreamer is a task manager that includes a mind mapper.


New: (Well, new to mind-mapping.org) ThinkTank a charming piece of downloadable, runnable outlining history from twenty years ago.  That cover looks strangely familiar…


New: TVO (The Vim Outliner) a free Linux outliner.


Update: The entry for TheBrain has been updated and an image has been added.


Update: The entry for 3D Topicscape has been updated, with images of 3D mind maps from the newer version.


Update: The Leo entry also has new images and a new sourceforge URL.