Concept mapping software

4 September, 2008

I’m looking for a concept map / mindmap tool. One that can do this:

Example concept map from CMap

Example concept map from CMap

but also categorise the nodes (people, places, groups etc). Any recommendations?



  1. A little investigation reveals two open source possibilities:

    OpenProj – http://openproj.org/openproj – supposedly an open source replacement for Microsoft Project.

    Dia – http://live.gnome.org/Dia – an open source Visio, basically.

    I haven’t actually used either of them but they look like they might do the job.


  2. A little internet based research reveals :

    OpenProj – http://openproj.org/openproj – apparently an open source replacement for Microsoft Project

    Dia – http://live.gnome.org/Dia – intended as an open source Visio.

    I suspect that OPenProj is more likely to be able to do the categorisation aspect and Dia is more for just drawing pretty pictures, but they’re probably both worth investigating.

  3. Also:



  4. What you really want is tagging, is that right? I’m not sure if Compendium can do this, but might be worth look at, because I think it has capabilities beyond CMAP’s. I have not used it though.

    Otherwise, depending how geeky you feel today, FreeMind has flexible attributes that the user can define for their own use.

    Both are free.

    The master list of mind mapping &
    information management software

  5. Thanks for your help. I had a look at all your suggestions but I will stick to CMap for now. OpenProj doesn’t seem to do concept maps, Dia doesn’t provide enough support, Compendium lets you tag nodes but doesn’t let you design your own tags, and FreeMind is a pure mindmap app (produces hierarchies, not node-to-node links allwing circular references).

    Ideally, I’d like a concept map where I can go New Node Type and create a style for a Person node, then go New->Person Node and create a node about a person, then go Filter By Node Type -> Person to show all the people I know about. I like that CMap has a text view as well as a map view to help navigate large maps, but its layout engine is not great compared to GraphViz.

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