Comparing Online Concept Mapping Tools

Having an office laptop with no admin privileges forced me to look beyond VUE for my concept mapping and representation needs. While the list of undifferentiated features are high, there are certain features that still makes you say yes to a specific tool despite compromises. My evaluation criteria is very personal, features like real time collaboration with multiple authors or sharing in social media, import from freemind, images are not so relevant for me, as my use is specific to one facilitation or representation usually.

Feature Creately Diagramly Lucidchart
Search (search across both node and link texts)Stencils or templates (for shapes and standards across map types)

Multiple links across nodes (not just one link between nodes)

No separate sign up (google/facebook/twitter connects)

Export to picture formats (png, jpg)

All morphologies

(unlike regular mindmapping softwares with one central node and branching out)

Sticky Nodes (connections retained when you move/format)

Yes Yes Yes
Rapid prototyping (with just clicks from nodes, without drag drops and separate linking) Yes Shape repeats and no choice on the new node shape Yes Shape repeats and no choice on the new node shape Yes Better than the other 2 with the prompt for the new node shape
Link form (linear, orthognol, free form) All forms Rounded orthogonal works for most instances No free form links All forms and I really like the curves in Lucid, as we can create the maps without links cris-crossing with them. Multi pivots possible
Google Docs Integration (saved as picture) No Yes Convenient No
Export to xml (formats vary by tool) Yes Yes No
Import from same tool xml Yes Yes Only visio with limited guarantees for proI did not try this here
Save map as model/template(model maps are useful when concept maps are refined in stages or with many inputs) No No Yes

PS: I chose lucid finally and with a huge compromise on diagramly’s google docs integration.


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