Relationship Map/Mind Map software suggestion

edited December 2007 in Story Games
Finding the various r-map threads months ago inspired me to find a mind-map tool for which should also be really useful as a relationship map tool.

A number of the suggestions in the threads were interesting but didn't do it for me completely for various reasons. My requirements were:

1. It had to be easy to use and intuitive: I didn't want the process of using the program to get in the way of my ideas. If that meant sacrificing options for the sake of simplicity and ease of use, so be it.

2. I wanted it to be local, not a tool I can only use while connected to the web.

3. The data needs to be exportable; I didn't want my data locked into a proprietary format only usable by the origination program.

4. Mac OS X compatible. You can take my Mac Book Pro out of my cold, dead hands.

5. It should be low-cost or free. I don't mind paying for software but I can't really justify paying $100+ for a program I know I wouldn't use a lot.

Result:

I found C-Map which is far from perfect but excellent in other ways and certainly fulfills my five requirements. (and, yep, it's free)

Link here: http://cmap.ihmc.us/

I hope this helps anyone looking for a similar product.

Comments

  • Oo this is pretty cool! Does it have a way to show bi-directional relationships (ie A loves B, B hates A) ?
  • My definitive answer would have been Omnigraffle, but it's disqualified by #5. The free version only allows you to put 20 elements on a page, and the full version costs $80. Unfortunately, I can't think of any good apps that fit all your criteria, but I'll suggest two that might suffice in the mean time until you can find something satisfactory.

    If you don't mind coding r-maps by hand rather than through a GUI, Graphviz is a different option. Achieving the output you want is a bit more involved, but I find it useful for pre-visualizing the final version I'm trying to create. It probably violates #1, but I'll let you be the judge of that.

    There's also a great program called Freemind. While not a full-featured diagraming program per-se, is still an excellent 'mind mapping' program to unravel ideas and get them 'down on paper', so to speak. Freemind is very easy to use, and I definitely recommend you check it out, whether you end up using it for that use or otherwise.

    Both Graphviz and Freemind can export to a whole host of formats (pdf, plain text, svg, etc.) so they should qualify in that department.
  • Posted By: TanRuOo this is pretty cool! Does it have a way to show bi-directional relationships (ie A loves B, B hates A) ?
    It does. You just need to adjust one of the vectors between the two by hand.
  • Posted By: Vasco BrownMy definitive answer would have beenOmnigraffle, but it's disqualified by #5. The free version only allows you to put 20 elements on a page, and the full version costs $80. Unfortunately, I can't think of any good apps that fit all your criteria, but I'll suggest two that might suffice in the mean time until you can find something satisfactory.

    If you don't mind coding r-maps by hand rather than through a GUI,Graphvizis a different option. Achieving the output you want is a bit more involved, but I find it useful for pre-visualizing the final version I'm trying to create. It probably violates #1, but I'll let you be the judge of that.

    There's also a great program calledFreemind. While not a full-featured diagraming program per-se, is still an excellent 'mind mapping' program to unravel ideas and get them 'down on paper', so to speak. Freemind is very easy to use, and I definitely recommend you check it out, whether you end up using it for that use or otherwise.

    Both Graphviz and Freemind can export to a whole host of formats (pdf, plain text, svg, etc.) so they should qualify in that department.
    Vasco -- I was mostly suggesting to those curious (based on my criteria) not really asking though thanks for the input. I've looked at the three programs you mention and, for one or more of my five reasons, C-Map tops them (for me, of course). I found Freemind's interface too cluttered and not intuitive and Graphviz wasn't graphical at all when entering data (which didn't work for me) though I will say that Graphviz is amazingly complete; I've put together some very nice R-Maps with Graphviz but it felt a bit like a struggle. C-Map just works better for the way I think and work. Omnigraffle is a great program but I didn't want to spend the money.
  • Posted By: NobleI found C-Map which is far from perfect but excellent in other ways and certainly fulfills my five requirements. (and, yep, it's free)
    Nice. I've fiddled around with some of these things too and I think CMap is now my favorite. Very easy to use with lots of clickies and draggies (and no swf's or xml source data). Thanks Noble.
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