New, Faster Biggerplate

March 8, 2011

Just launched is the new, faster Biggerplate – the mind map library for MindManager maps.

image

The new site features:

  • bulk upload – up to 10 maps at a time
  • improvements to categorisation
  • automatic creation of map descriptions and tags
  • enhanced map previewing
  • copyright control
  • profile features that help promote yourself and your business.

Overall the site makes it much easier to find maps that interest you.  If you find a map by an author you like, you can quickly find other maps by that same author.  Perhaps the greatest improvement is the speed of the site, navigation from page to page, map previewing and downloading are all incredibly fast and easy.

map

 

Large maps can become difficult to view.  A useful feature of MindView is the ability to compress a map by reducing the space between branches. 

 

This can be done by clicking on the “Compact Map”  from the “Design” tab.

compact button

Tip:  This feature is useful for viewing a large map as it nears completion or when you want to print a finished map.  However if there is more editing to do or new branches to add, turn this feature off.  Having “Compact Map” turned on can slow things down, I’ve found, so only turn it on when you need it.

compactmap

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Biggerplate is Changing

February 7, 2011

BiggerplateThe premier site for exchanging MindManager maps is Biggerplate.  It is a free resource where you can post maps you wish to share and find others when you need inspiration.  The site is nearing the final stages of a new version and will shortly enter beta test. 

Liam Hughes is the site owner and has provided a list of improvements for the new version.  These are:

  • Bulk Uploads: a fast method to upload up to ten maps at once
  • Auto-Complete: as a map is uploaded it will be scanned automatically to create a title, description (where available) and relevant key word tags, meaning there is very little data entry for contributors to do. They can of course edit everything as they choose.
  • Improved copyright and licensing options (control how your work is used)
  • Embed links to your own web site in the map descriptions
  • Mini-Profiles: Promote yourself and your business, and learn how other people are using mind mapping/Biggerplate
  • Fully integrated MindManager viewer to enable people to view mind maps without having to download anything
  • No more Google Ads!
  • No size limit on mind map uploads (previously maps with lots of pictures may have caused the site to reject them).
  • Vastly improved browse and search functions, making it far easier to find a wider range of mind map content.

screen_shot_1Some of these items caught my eye in particular, here are further details:

Auto-Complete

As a map is uploaded the site will scan it and create a title, description and tags.  To get the best results note the following:

  • The map title will be extracted from the central topic, so having an accurate and descriptive central topic for your map is a good place to start
  • The map description will be extracted from the properties dialogue within MindManager (File>Info>Properties) using any information that is added to the comments section. So if you want the Auto-Complete function to fill out everything, enter the information into this comments section when you save your map
  • The “Tags” for the map are extracted from either the keywords field (again within the properties dialogue) or, if there are no keywords entered in the document properties, the site will extract them from the level 1 subtopics within your map.

You will be able to accept these results or edit them to your liking.

Embed Links

One of the great advantages of Biggerplate is the platform it provides for marketing yourself or your business.  The new site will now create hyperlinks to links included in the map description, allowing other users to visit your site to find out more.

For instance, a map description can include something like:

This map on project managing in enterprise is intended to help senior IT managers plan complex projects from start to finish. For more information, please visit my blog: HYPERLINK “http://www.blog.biggerplate.comwww.blog.biggerplate.com

Biggerplate will recognise this and automatically create a hyperlink to the site indicated. This is a great way for small businesses, blog owners and web sites to promote themselves through the maps they share on Biggerplate.

Mini-Profiles

screen_shot_2 The aim of mini-profiles is to help people see and learn more about how others are using mind mapping and Biggerplate. Once registered on Biggerplate, you will be able to enter a short and information on how you use mind mapping, and/or Biggerplate. This will be displayed along with all the maps you have added to the site. You will also be able to enter information to help other people connect with you on your preferred online networks, by entering your Twitter Username, Web site Address, Facebook URL and so on. 

Say your mind map appears in my search results, I will be able to click your name and view your mini-profile. This may give me some extra information about who you are, and help me to understand better the context in which the map was created, perhaps lending extra credibility to the map contents.

Everything in the mini-profile section is opt-in, and no information (apart from username and mind maps) will be displayed if the user does not add it.

There is no published launch date for the new site however beta testing is due to start soon.  Liam has provided a couple of screen shots of the development site (click the thumbnails in this post), the final version will be different in some areas, and they should whet our appetites for now.