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!



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!


Have you checked Our Faves yet?
Subscribe to the RSS feed for news of regular
posts & follow me on Twitter for in-between
items about visual tools you never knew existed.

If you’re on Twitter and tweet about mapping topics,
tweet me — I’d love to know and follow 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:



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?



Text-to-mindmap in one click – It’s Mappio!

I’m adding this one to as part of this weekend’s update, but I want to put the word out now:

Mappio – it’s at – will take a lightly indented text file and make a mind map from it.  The text must be formatted according to some simple guidelines and the indents show structure. 

For now, the maps are limited in many ways, but it is a very interesting approach to making mind maps.  Allowing pictures and hyperlinked nodes at this early stage is cool.  There’s no privacy for maps at present, but you need to be logged in as the maker to edit the text.

Here’s a mind map of that I made (click to go to the original at Mappio):


And this is the text that did the job: * 
    Master list of Mind, 
    mapping software { Shape: RoundRect } 
        Includes concept mapping 
        Has other information, 
             But they must include, 
             a graphical element 
        Control what you see with, 
        'Refine software list' 
        All currently live software 
        All historical software 
    Articles on mapping { Shape: RoundRect } 
        Mindmapping and you 
        Mindmapping before writing 
        Business and planning 
        Project management 
        Learning, study, memory 
        Information Management 
        Seminal papers in, 
        concept mapping 
    Razor-sharp mind, 
    mapping search { Shape: RoundRect } 
        Search box 
        List of sites it draws on 
    Mind mapping news at the blog  { Shape: RoundRect } 


Cayra, VORG Express and SnapXT

This weekend’s update to brings a lively and colourful new mind-mapping product, Cayra; VORG Express, a free information manager; and a development platform for throw-away web applications that revolves around a MindManager mind map.

Cayra – This is an attractive program, free for now, that produces colourful maps that don’t have to represent a pure hiearchy.  It can therefore produce a limited form of concept map as well as mind maps.


[Update December 2010: No longer supported but still available from download sites like CNET, and still good.]
VORG Express – VE is a free information manager that also has diagramming capabilities.  It has a big brother, VORG Team, which costs US$48 a year per user.  There are other products in the family that are aimed at vertical markets: Finance and medical.  


SnapXT – Finally, there’s SnapXT that uses a MindManager mind map to build collaborative web applications.  The key to its original approach to application development is that the connection between the mind map and the application is “live” – changes to the map can be reflected in the on-line application. 




Useful review

There are some useful comments about here: Mind Mapping Software – Fast, Free, Simple, Online.

The reviewer Dane Morgan says “But most of all I like that the maps it produces look like mind maps look in my mind.”  I would add that it’s also able to produce concept maps of a sort – a network rather than a hierarchy.

I’ve added the link to the review entry in the database and it will appear on the site soon.


Updated – typo correction



This weekend’s new entry to is WiseMapping, another web-based, on-line mind mapping tool.


This is in a very early stage of development, so it would be premature to make any judgement, but it shows no distinguishing features yet.  It promises linking of documents to a map and sharing finished maps, but does not make clear if collaborative working will be supported.

I’ll be tracking progress from time to time and will keep the entry up to date.


WiseMapping guys, if you’d like to give me a heads up on the introduction of new features that would be great! V


The lovely Mindomo: Up and running

Mindomo – the web-based mind mapping service that has been on since early May – just announced that they are out of Beta and publicly available.

And it’s still free (with ads) for up to 7 maps.

There’s a US$6/month ‘Premium’ version, that:

  1. Is advertisement-free
  2. Has a secure connection (https) to their server [important if you’re using this for business]
  3. Can export maps in Mindjet’s MindManager™ format  [no FreeMind :-(]
  4. Offers encrypted map storage
  5. Ensures priority E-mail support