I really like Vue as it gives you the greatest flexibility in the look and content of your mind map. It also is a tremendous tool for presentation with the use of pathways. Combining hover zoom and pathways, one can create a very customized flow or a presentation and focus attention on specific nodes or groups of nodes.
The biggest draw back I have found with Vue is a non intuitive collapse and expand function for nodes. The other drawback is the difficulty in publishing it to the web in an interactive format where a user can click on a node to collapse or expand it. This functionality is helpful when a map gets really large or when a user is looking at it with a small screen device.
After a very brief search (meaning I probably missed some other good tools), I decided on Freemind for these 2 reasons:
- Easy collapsing and expanding of nodes
- Maintaining this functionality when publishing to the web.
- It does have some formatting options that are quite sufficient for my purpose.
How do you go about this?
- Download and install Freemind (Freemind.sourceforge.net)
- Create your mind map
- Save the mind map (*.mm) and upload to your web server.
- Download the Freemind applet (zip file which includes an HTML template) (freemindbrowser.jar). You need this hosted on your web server.
- Create a HTML wrapper using a template included with the freemind applet zip file that points to the location of your freemindbrowser.jar file and your *.mm mind map file.
- Upload this HTML file to the web server.
- Make sure the MIME types on the web server for .mm are set to application/freemind. You may need your server administration to do this for you.
- Point your browser to this HTML file and you are all done.
|Static Image exported from Freemind|
Just to test out this functionality, I summarized this information HERE using Freemind as an interactive mind map.
Caveat - needs JRE to work. User will be prompted to download this if they don't have it
Caveat - this means it will NOT work on iPad or other iOS devices as they don't support Java :-(