Mind map galleries are an excellent place to learn how others are utilizing mind mapping software. These websites make it possible for users of mind mapping software to easily upload and share their maps with others, either in a public gallery or in a private, password protected area. In the latter case, you can use these services as an online repository for your maps.
Most galleries give you multiple options for downloading maps, either in the native file format of a particular mind mapping program, or as PDF or a JPG image. In the case of a map in your favorite program’s native file format, you can open the map and see how the author created it, or use it as a starting point for a project you’re working on. Many of these galleries also enable you to create text tags when you upload maps, making it easier for others to find them.
Here is a summary of these map galleries and the services they offer:
BiggerPlate.com is focused on providing a map sharing space for MindManager files. It offers a map library that is searchable by keyword, tags and categories. When you upload a map to share, the site automatically generates a preview image. Also, you can rate others’ maps, a feature which may help you to zero in on the most valuable maps, as judged by your peers. When you upload maps, you can designate them as password protected.
Mappio is a repository for MindManager and FreeMind maps. Maps are searchable by title and keyword tags, and you can also view a set of featured mind maps. You can preview any map as an image file, including small, medium, large and full screen (1024×768 pixel) images that show a lot of detail. You can then decide if you want to download it as an image or as a map. Mappio also displays related maps beneath the currently selected one. The whole site is well designed and is a pleasure to browse.
NovaMind Connect – This gallery is a companion to the website of NovaMind Pty. Ltd., a leading developer of mind mapping software. NovaMind enables you to create very colorful and engaging maps, and offers its users a unique capability: They can publish their maps directly from the program to the NovaMind Connect workspace. This gallery contains the most colorful and engaging maps of any I’ve seen. If you want to see what’s possible with mind mapping software, this is the gallery that will inspire you to a higher level of visual mapping.
XMIND.net – Like NovaMind Connect, this gallery is part of the XMIND website. You can upload your map files directly from XMIND to this shared map space.
Freemindshare – This website bills itself as “a fast, simple way to share your FreeMind mind map(s).” After I logged in, the only option I saw was to upload and view my own maps. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of a public map gallery here. In fact, several of the capabilities of Freemindshare, including “groups” and “messages” don’t seem to be finished yet. Clicking on the links for them leads you to pages that say “This feature is not yet available.”
In addition to these galleries, the websites of many of the major mind mapping software developers also house smaller collections of maps, aimed at inspiring potential customers to buy their programs – and to help existing customers get more done with their software.