I recently learned of a new visual mapping application called VUE – which stands for Visual Understanding Environment. Developed as an open source project by Tufts University, VUE was designed to provide a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information.
VUE is designed to enable faculty and students to easily map relationships between concepts, ideas and digital content. The program’s pathways feature allows presenters to create annotated “trails” through their maps, which become expert guided walk-throughs of the information. This can be presented by an instructor, or can be viewed by others in a self-guided fashion.
If this all sounds a little foreign to you, the developers of VUE have provided an excellent QuickTime video that explains what VUE does, and how it enables the gathering, analysis and sharing of knowledge. If you have any interest in this intriguing application, then I definitely recommend that you view this video. The website also contains a gallery of map examples, which give a nice overview of the types of applications for which VUE can be used.
At first glance, VUE appears to be very well designed to deliver a rich learning experience to both instructors and students. I’m not sure how it could be used in business, but it may lend itself to situations where you may want to map more complex relationships than are possible to depict in a hierarchical mind map (where a topic may have only one parent).
I have downloaded the program from the VUE website and hope to have some time to play around with it in the next few weeks. I plan to do a full product review in this blog.