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Mahara mind maps

Geoff Rowland's profile picture
Posts: 108

10 June 2015, 2:07 AM

I am a keen advocate of the use of mind maps (AKA concept maps, spray diagrams etc) in education and often use the open source desktop applications FreeMind and FreePlane. A few years ago, one of my students, James Kerrigan, and I wrote a FreeMind plugin for embedding such mind maps in Mahara pages. This drew strongly from a similar Moodle filter and used interactive Flash or Java based display of the mind map.

As support for client-side Flash and Java dwindles, particularly on mobile/tablet platforms, this solution has become less attractive. So, I have been looking for viable alternatives for Mahara-embedded mind map display e.g. using HTML5/SVG.

One option I have found is to use the free, open source mind mapping Web service. You can also download and set up your own, institutional, WiseMapping server. WiseMapping allows the import/export of FreeMind (.mm) format files. So, you can still use a local copy of FreeMind/FreePlane to create/edit mind maps.

To embed mind maps in Mahara pages, you do need to add to Administration > Allow iframe sources. Also, set the Display name field to, say, Wise Mapping and the icon host field to to display the relevant favicon.

Any other Mahara mind mapping solutions?

Dirk Meyer's profile picture
Posts: 423

28 June 2015, 11:33 AM

Hello Geoff,

I was going to suggest as it was the tool my district had purchased. Usage was very low and now its back to the free accounts.
I can see the potential to have a build-in feature like wisemapping. What I would see as most useful would be some sort of SSO so I could pick my mindmaps directly from within Mahara. Am I dreaming?

Geoff Rowland's profile picture
Posts: 108

28 June 2015, 9:30 PM

Hi Dirk

Yes, of the commercial mind map services, I have also found MindMeister to be good. Amongst other features, I like the way it integrates with Google Drive.

However, if (initial?) uptake of mind mapping by individuals/institutions is patchy then the cost of commercial services/software can be a problem. So, at the very least, WiseMapping provides a good, free, open-source 'entry point'.

Although I have no direct experience of this, WiseMapping does apparently support LDAP and OpenID authentication. So, if you set up your own WiseMapping server you may be able to arrange some form of SSO. You could also request and/or sponsor authentication features from WiseMapping.

I have used the MNet-based SSO between Moodle and Mahara (Mahoodle) but am not 'up to speed' on the development status of its replacement. Would be neat to be able to link in WiseMapping and other services!forum/wisemapping-support


Geoff Rowland's profile picture
Posts: 108

08 July 2015, 3:09 AM

...and another open source mind mapping cloud service is MindMup:

Amongst other features, allows import/export of .mm (FreeMind) format mind maps, storage on Google Drive, DropBox, GitHub etc and embedding (iframe) in Mahara pages.

You will need to add your MindMup storage (e.g. MindMup Anonymous storage) to the list of Allowed iframe sources in Mahara Administration:

Also, add to the Icon host field

and MindMup as Display name field

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