Wisdomap is a new web-based mind mapping tool developed by two programmers in the UK that aims to return mind maps to the fundamental simplicity that makes them such powerful tools. According to Michael Dent, one of the co-founders of Wisdomap, most mind mapping programs contain so many features that they tend to produce cluttered, disorganized visual maps that don’t communicate as effectively as they should.
“What we found (when we looked at other mind mapping programs) was a consistent problem with clutter, overambitious software and Web 2.0 hype. In our opinion it was the fundamental simplicity of mind maps that made them such powerful tools – something you could visualize and that would really trigger your memory in an exam, meeting or whatever. Colossal maps… may work as a cumbersome way of finding your way around a topic but certainly don’t trigger your visual memory,” he explains.
As a result, Dent and his partner have designed a simple web-based mind mapping tool that produces colorful, clean maps that emphasize clarity. In an unusual move, resources such as images, videos and links to files and web pages aren’t linked to individual map topics, but are displayed in a well-organized vertical pane on the right side of the workspace. According to Dent, this is exactly the sort of thing that increases clutter and decreases usability and visual effectiveness. Wisdomap’s solution keeps these assets close at hand, but doesn’t clutter the map itself with them.
Their future development plans include adding the ability to move and re-order topics, support for keyboard shortcuts, the ability to export and import maps, and to support more advanced map layout options. Their hope is to improve on Wisdomap’s functionality, but without compromising on their commitment to its fundamental visual simplicity. Of course, because this is a beta application, they welcome your input.
You can sign up for a free account on the Wisdomap website that enables you to create up to 3 maps. If you want to create more, a paid account costs £12/year (approximately US$23).