Knowledge Graphs and Mind Maps

  • Mind Mapping Software and Apps

    Mind maps are used to represent connections between ideas. Most of the tools for visual thinking have a mind mapping functionality. Unfortunately, most of them impose a hierarchical order: you have to start from a single idea, which will then branch out into subcategories. Only a few allow a more rhizomatic approach to mind mapping. Here is a graph (or a mind map) with an overview of the best mind mapping apps available on the market today.


    Pure Mind-Mapping

    Mindmeister, Mindmomo, and Ayoa are the tools that offer the classical mind mapping functionality and Gantt charts. All three of them have similar functionality, but Mindmeister seems to be the most popular and developed tool. All of them also offer Gantt chart functionality, which can be useful for project-planning.

    Try InfraNodus Text Network Visualization Tool developed by Nodus Labs. You can use it to make sense of disjointed bits and pieces of information, get visual summaries for text documents, and generate insight for your research process:

    Generate Mind Map Graphs from a Text

    InfraNodus can be used to build mind maps from pure text, which allows creating concept maps in an easy and quick way. Drawing the shapes and connections can be cumbersome, but using InfraNodus you can enter the elements and the connections between them using pure text or hashtags if you want to be more precise. Enter #mindmeister and #infranodus and click save, you will have the two elements appearing on the graph and a connection between them (just like in the example on the right). Rhumbl is another tool which you can use to build and create network-like mindmaps, but you will have to build them manually, and cannot use text-to-graph conversion.

    Collaborative Whiteboards

    A new generation of tools like Miro, Milanote, and the iPad-based Muse app take the concept of mind mapping to the next level. They are designed as collaborative whiteboards but have plenty of templates available, so you can load up a mind mapping template and fill it in with your own ideas. If you are building the mind maps designed for a presentation, one of these apps can be a very good choice. Milanote is more focused on creative use, like moodboards and storyboards for character development, while Miro is more business-oriented.

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