A new web-based mind mapping application, Comapping, has just emerged from beta testing and has been released to the world in version 1.0. This new tool is focused on providing geographically dispersed teams with real-time collaboration in a shared mapping environment. Comapping operates within a web browser, and features a well-designed, easy to use interface.
Just click on the "TRY IT FOR FREE" message on the Comapping home page, and the program’s user interface loads quickly. You can add new topics using the "insert" key – nice! As I’ve mentioned in other posts and product reviews, this has practically become a de facto standard, and I’m glad to see that Comapping supports it. As you type in the name of your topic, a simple toolbar appears just below it, which enables you to quickly modify the size, style and color of your topic. Considering that one of the constraints of web-based mind mapping tools is the size of the user’s screen, I think this is a very intelligent design decision.
You can easily focus in on a topic and develop it further. The top-most visible topic appears in a gray vertical band at the left side of the screen, and all topics radiate to the right. This arrangement makes excellent use of the workspace compared to a radial map, and may also help new users to get accustomed to visual mapping.
Comapping includes support for managing tasks within your maps, so it’s easy to assign specific items to your colleagues and coworkers.
Inviting others to collaborate with you is as simple as filling out a form and submitting it. As your colleagues add topics to the shared map, their contributions appear in real time. Based on the video on the Comapping website, it looks like this works very well. I can’t wait to try it with someone!
The developers of Comapping wisely gave it the ability to import MindManager maps. You can also export maps created in Comapping to MindManager’s file format, RTF (rich text format) and HTML.
What if you make mistake while working on a visual map in the Comapping web environment? The developers have wisely included a map recovery service in their offerings. All maps created with Comapping are backed up hourly, and are kept for 90 days. So you can easily request that your map be returned to its state at a specific date and time.
In short, it looks like the developers of Comapping have really paid a lot of attention to detail. I encourage you to try this web-based mapping tool today. If you like it, you can sign up for an account, which costs US$11.99 for 6 months – very affordable!
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