Today's catch is VUE, an enhanced mindmapping tool from Tufts University.
VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information. At its core, the Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is a concept and content mapping application, created to support education and for anyone who needs to organize, contextualize, and access digital information.
Using a simple set of tools and a clean interface consisting of nodes and links, teachers and students can map relationships between concepts, ideas and any kind of digital content. Content can be drag-and-dropped from the internet, or using the Resources panel to access local file systems, FTP servers and other digital repositories.
But what makes VUE more than just another mindmapping tool is its Pathways feature. The Pathways feature in VUE allows users to create custom trails through nodes in their maps allowing construction of interactive presentations. These custom trails are useful for highlighting particular nodes in large maps. VUE's presentation tools allow the presenter to focus in on specific content while at the same time maintaining a sense of its overall context. Presenters can build and navigate their pathways in a linear or non-linear fashion, allowing for “just-in-time teaching” and more in-depth exploration of a topic.
VUE is an open source project from Tufts University. It is available as a free download for both Macs and PCs. Included on the site are well written tutorials to help you use VUE effectively.