VUE : A Free, Open Source Mind Mapping Tool
Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is an open source mind mapping software. VUE is designed with a motive to enable faculty and students integrate electronic content into their teaching and learning. Currently in the beta stage, this Java based mind mapping software is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Features of VUE
VUE comes with a good choice of tools for creating impressive mind maps. Some of the features of VUE which makes it a very powerful mind mapping software are as follows -
- VUE has all the basic tools for creating nodes, links between nodes, selection, text, and a tool for rapid prototyping.
- The Format bar in VUE allows you to change the style of your mind map nodes to your liking. You can access the Format bar using the shortcut key
Ctrl + 1.
- You can insert text and images within the nodes. Images can be dragged outside the nodes too.
- Each node can be associated with more data such as a description, important keywords, web addresses, and images. For that, just right click on a node and from the popup menu, select the required option.
Semantic analysis of web content / semantic indexing is another unique feature of VUE.
What does that mean ?
Well, if you have a node which has a web address attached to it, then semantic analysis of that node will automatically generate nodes which are related to the parent node as represented on the website.
Check out the image below to see the result of semantic analysis of OpenSUSE node.
In fact, the nodes you see in the above image were created automatically by VUE after accessing the OpenSUSE website.
Another very useful feature of VUE is a Pathway.
Pathways feature allows you to create custom trails through nodes in your mind map and it permits creation of interactive presentations.
VUE’s presentation delivery tools allow the presenter and audience to focus in on specific content while at the same time maintaining a sense of its overall context within a VUE map.
Each object on your pathway has its own slide to allow you to provide the viewer of your map different contexts for your nodes. VUE authors may also navigate their pathways in a linear or non-linear fashion, allowing for “just-in-time teaching” and more in-depth exploration of a topic.
These are just a few of the important features found in VUE. You will find a well written user guide for VUE which explains all its features in detail. Download VUE from its official website. VUE is a very powerful mind mapping software albeit still under heavy development. It shows a lot of promise as a tool that will aid in teaching students.
If you like VUE mind mapping tool then you should also check out Xmind which is another similar open source mind mapping tool.