Publishing Mind Maps

31 08 2013

If you create mind maps you may publish your work on Biggerplate, your blog, or on social networks like Google+.

Here is a description of how I do it to seamlessly allow other people to download the map. On my iPad I use the app iThoughts HD by Craig Scott, UK, which is the best mind mapping tool for the iPad.

To justify my steps you should consider that

  • Not everybody uses a mind mapping tool but nevertheless is interested in the content of your map.
  • Compatibility between the different file formats used by min mapping tools is more or less limited.
  • For some maps like feature descriptions it’s useful to additionally provide the map e.g. as a Powerpoint presentation.
  • For maps near to artworks like those of Daniel Tay you should provide the map in PNG file format.

Additionally you should know that uploading a map to Biggerplate does not work. The reason is Apple’s filesystem which does not allow direct access to app specific folders or cloud based storages when using the SAFARI or any other browser. The only files you may upload with an iOS device are photos from the camera roll. The functionality is called ‘Take photo or video’ or ‘Choose existing’.

Direct uploads from mobile devices to Biggerplate are hopefully possible in the future.

The workaround …

It’s useful to save maps on cloud-based storages additionally to the local folder of the app iThoughts. Use Dropbox, Box, or any other cloud which can be accessed by a WebDAV connection like iDriveSync (via hostname https://dav.idrivesync.com). By using a cloud storage you backup your map and you can share it with others as well.
Access to a cloud storage can be done in iThoughts when using the function Copy To Cloud. Tap on ‘+’ and enter the credentials for your Dropbox or Box account and additionally the hostname for WebDAV access.
To retrieve the sharing link use the native apps for your cloud account. All these apps are free.
I prefer Box net and iDriveSync because of the many more features compared to Dropbox and the perfect design of the website for downloads.

If your map is created and saved follow these steps.

Step 1 Create a description

Describe your map.
Add links to the files you saved in alternate file formats to improve user-friendliness.
Add some information about yourself as text or link to your website or profile e.g. on Google+.
See the images below for an example.

You can use this map description for

  • upload to Biggerplate
  • your post an Google+ or other social networks
  • your own documentation

Step 2 Upload to Biggerplate

See these screenshots to provide appropriate information to Biggerplate.

Step 3 Share your map

After uploading to Biggerplate dialogs for sharing the map on Twitter and Facebook is automatically available.
Sharing on other social networking platforms like Google+, LinkedIn, or Pinterest must be done manually. Use the image of your map (PNG) to illustrate your post and the description to give some additional information to your followers resp. visitors.

Note
If you include the PNG file format make sure that all topics which should be displayed in details are expanded and all others are collapsed. The PNG is generated by following WYSIWYG.

File formats …

You should provide all the file formats supported by Biggerplate.
This ensures seamless downloads even for people not using the app iThoughts.

For mind maps with more descriptive content try out the Microsoft Word format (docx) and the Microsoft Powerpoint format (pptx) which can be imported in Apple’s iWork Suite (Pages, Keynote) as well.

Compatibility …

Here is an example how mind maps look like in other applications if you use an alternate file format provided by iThoughts.

With iThoughts your map can be optionally saved in the file format of Mindjet (IMX). See this comparison between the map within the native app iThoughts and the map saved by iThoughts in Mindjet file format opened by the mobile version of Mindjet.

Compatibility regarding layout, sizes, and images is limited but structure and content were retained unchanged. By the way: The desktop version of Mindjet does the task much more better.

Summary …

Present your maps user-friendly by providing different file formats and a comprehensive description.

This map summarizes all the main informations of my article.

20130624-182230.jpg

You may download this map in the following file formats

PDF

ITMZ (Native format of iThoughts)

MMAP (Mindjet)

XMIND (XMind)

Related links …

Mind Mapping (3) (containing features of iThoughts)

Remarks to Mind Mapping

Mind Map vs Textual Pages

Apple on Biggerplate.com

Thanks for reading my article.
I appreciate sharing this article to your friends and followers.


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3 responses

31 08 2013
cabre

When you create a new Cloud Folder in iThoughtsHD it asks what file types to save in the folder. A “copy” of the map is then saved in each file type. I have not been able to find a method to change the file types post creation of the folder.

BUT although copies can be produced and shared in multiple formats this may not produce an acceptable “copy” of your map. The change in map format, layout, style and loss of content between applications may make a beautiful and well laid out map, a heap of half eaten spaghetti in another. Take care with functionality it damage your reputation as a map artist.

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31 08 2013
iNotes4You

Thanks for your comment, Andrew.
Please give me some time to look into the details because I’m on the go and just took my iPhone with me.
Thanks.

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31 08 2013
iNotes4You

Hello Andrew,
I tried to reproduce what you said. Here are my results:

If a folder is created on a cloud storage you are indeed asked which file types you want to save in the new folder. But these settings can easily be changed every time you save a map by using ‘Send to cloud’ to save a map.
The file format dialog is always shown just before saving a map so you can select the desired formats for each map and each storage location.

Sorry if I didn’t understand you right.

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