CS Odessa, the developer of ConceptDraw MINDMAP, announced earlier this week that it has launched version 2 of MindWave, a free gadget that enables you to create collaborative mind maps within Google Wave. Google Wave is a shared workspace environment that combines the best aspects of e-mail, threaded discussion, instant messaging and wikis into a rich, web-based application.
MindWave enables teams to collaborate on a mind map that anyone can add to or edit, and which can be “played back” like any wave so that new participants can see how it was constructed. Mind maps can also be downloaded and developed further in the desktop version of ConceptDraw MINDMAP.
MindWave 2 improves the application’s functionality in a number of ways:
- It opens with a “getting started” map to introduce new users to its functionality, so they can begin collaborating on mind maps more quickly within Wave.
- A horizontal scroll bar makes it easier to work with mind maps that are wider than the right-hand pane in Google Wave. This is important, because MindWave doesn’t appear to have a zoom feature. In practice, however, I found this horizontal scroll bar to be so thin that it was hard to see. Plus, your map doesn’t “float” within the workspace the way it does in desktop- and web-based mind mapping software. You must scroll downward to the bottom border of the MindWave application, where the wave of discussion begins, to access this miniscule navigation control.
- Web addresses are automatically reformatted to URL links
- New keyboard shortcuts have been added
If you go to the MindWave page on the CS Odessa website, it provides full instructions on how to install this gadget. Best of all, Google Wave is no longer invitation, only, so anyone can try it out.
Judging from the buzz on Twitter during the last couple of months, a large number of people are intrigued by the idea of creating mind maps within Google Wave. It’s good to see that at least one developer of mind mapping software continues to push a head in this brave new world of collaboration. I’m still not sure I quite understand how to use Google Wave, but recognize that it is still a work in progress and will continue to evolve in the months ahead.