During the last year, the number of web-based environments for collaborating around mind maps has grown significantly. In most cases, these are online environments created by developers of desktop mind mapping software, designed to enable their customers to share mind maps with their colleagues and team members easily, and to provide a web-based version of their software that people can use without having a licensed copy of the software on their desktop.
Here’s a summary of the major players in this mind map collaboration space:
Mindjet Catalyst: Catalyst enables sharing of mind maps and other documents in a collaborative, foldered environment. Team members can also use its built-in chat capabilities to carry on a discussion while working on a mind map. The application also contains a web-based version of MindManager, so your team members can share maps, even if not every team member has the desktop version of the program.
MindView Shared Workspace: This tool, recently introduced with the launch of MindView 4 several months ago, enables multi-user editing of mind maps, distribution of tasks to your team members and monitoring of task status via a series of web based dashboard reports. You can upload mind maps directly from the desktop version of MindView to Shared Workspace.
CS Odessa MindWave: This application started life as a mind mapping tool for the now-defunct Google Wave collaboration application. Since Google killed that tool, CS Odessa has relaunched it as a separate collaboration environment, complete with real-time collaboration and the ability to easily move maps from MindWave to your desktop copy of ConceptDraw MINDMAP. MindWave recently announced that MindWave is now available within SAP StreamWork, a cloud-based collaborative decision-making tool. Within StreamWork, MindWave functions like a gadget, in much the same way as it did inside of Google Wave.
iMindMap Online: Recently announced by ThinkBuzan, this new tool will offer a web-based version of its iMindMap mind mapping software, plus support for real-time collaboration on mind maps.
Several other software developers, including XMind, enable you to upload mind maps directly from their desktop mapping software to an online gallery, with the option to mark a map as unlisted or private – so you can share your maps with those people to whom you give the the URL, but they don’t appear in public listings of maps on the sites. But they don’t offer tools for online collaboration or co-editing of mind maps.
Still others, such as Mindomo and DropMind, developed web-based mind mapping applications and then launched desktop versions that are designed to integrate with each other.
As you can see, the mind mapping collaboration environment is really maturing and growing. If I have missed any tools or services, please note them in the comments section. Thanks!