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How to create concept-maps on your computer

Concept maps

are a very powerful tool to organize your understanding of a concept in a graphical presentation of your thoughts.

Normally you start to develop a concept-map simply by drawing one on a piece of paper.But if you want to publish your presentation or if you want to invite others to work with you in creating a specific concept-map (e.g. as an cooperative assignment), some way to develop a concept-map on the computer comes in handy.

Thankfully, there is help:

The IHMC, a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System that is affiliated with several Florida universities, created a software called CMAP-TOOLS for all important operating systems.

With this software you can create concept maps, you can add links to related material to each knot of the map, you can work cooperatively with others on one concept map - a great tool.


There is extensive help available: An Internet-Manual (PDF-Version attached to this lesson), a great FAQ-section and four Howto-Videos:

# Creating concepts and propositions

# The views window

# How to create a folder

# Adding resources

The software is free for individual and educational use and there exists not only client-software but a server-version, too, to implement this software as a part of your institutional intranet.

So, if you are interested in creating concept maps on your computer or institutional network -
dare to throw a glance!


  1. Tatjana saidSat, 12 Apr 2008 08:56:08 -0000 ( Link )

    Super Ressource – danke, Peter!!

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  2. ajcajc saidSat, 12 Apr 2008 12:30:13 -0000 ( Link )

    Great resource. I typo: The organization that created CmapTools is IHMC, not IMHC.

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  3. Carsten saidWed, 16 Apr 2008 02:07:20 -0000 ( Link )

    This is pretty cool Peter, I am downloading it right now and I’ll give it a whirl.

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  4. hshawjr saidFri, 18 Apr 2008 23:21:37 -0000 ( Link )

    Thank you Peter, I had tried this a while ago and when I bought my new computer, I didn’t have it saved anywhere and forgot about, because we were using Inspiration8 at our school. CMAP has some really cool features and is free. Thanks Harold

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  5. vgukenberger saidThu, 08 May 2008 19:29:40 -0000 ( Link )

    Great lesson…your text on this page cites: “The software is free for individual and educational use and there exists not only client-software but a server-version, too, to implement this software as a part of your institutional intranet.” How do I access the software? Vickie

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  6. vgukenberger saidThu, 08 May 2008 19:36:47 -0000 ( Link )

    Great lesson…you text on this page cites: “The software is free for individual and educational use and there exists not only client-software but a server-version, too, to implement this software as a part of your institutional intranet.” How do I access the software? Vickie

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  7. Peter Blomert saidThu, 08 May 2008 20:00:47 -0000 ( Link )

    Just follow the links of the lesson – or take this shortcut.

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  8. vgukenberger saidThu, 08 May 2008 20:29:54 -0000 ( Link )

    Thanks, I figured out how to do it. Is there a means to “save” the constructed concept maps to an internal shared drive for a course, a jump drive or the like? I am going to have students do a portfolio in the nursing program, and I want them to be able to upload the concept map that they start in first course. It would evolve over the course of study. With each course they would upload their modified concept map (which has as its “theme” the student’s individual philosophy of nursing) as a depiction of their philosophy of nursing. THanks. Vickie

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  9. Peter Blomert saidThu, 08 May 2008 20:37:44 -0000 ( Link )

    You may need the server version. For that you would have to contact the team of IHMC to be granted a server-version – you will need perhaps an own server on your intranet or on the internet for that server-version to reside on. Just contact them, they will help you out.

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