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3D and some serious hand waving


drawing-on-air.jpgThose of us who spend our lives thinking in 3D on computer screens – 3D mindmaps, here at Topicscape HQ – are always fascinated by the interaction with a 3D environment, displayed on a 2D computer screen.

Even more interesting than navigating in a 3D landscape is making a complex and detailed 3D object in the first place.            

At Brown University they’ve made significant progress.  There’s a piece at ZDNet about this – click here.  For the full paper at Brown’s, try this link.


  1. I downloaded your student version looking for utility. I am putting together a very ambitious project and need certain functionality. I could find no other place that seemed appropriate to pose this question.

    Can Topicscape clone the file structure of a website, treating each folder as a node while keeping all the connections between parent and child folders then depict them in a mind map with the files in each each folder retaining the hyperlinks to the actual document?

    This sort of goes to the wiki project, but is a bit more complex. When I downloaded the program I entered an explanation of the project there but in brief, I am trying to render the corpus juris (body of law) in an interrelated 3d mind map structure with the entire project interactive. I need users to be able to add files and folders to the structure without the webmaster having to hand implement each change.

    If Topicscape could simply render the file structure in a mind map format then any changes to the file structure would propagate to the map each time it was opened.

    Can it do this and if not, how difficult would it be to trick the system out to get it to do this?


  2. The free Student Edition works only with TXT, HTML, MHT & Internet shortcuts. Topicscape Pro can handle any file type.

    Making Topicscape reflect a folder structure in 3D is normal – if you drag a folder with multiple sub-folders, sub-sub-folders and so on into Topicscape it will build an equivalent structure in the Topicscape landscape. But reflecting later changes in the folders and files in them in Topicscape goes against the Topicscape philosophy, which is to free the way users want to organize their information from the physical way it is stored. There is a detailed explanation of why this is so in the Topicscape wiki here.

    Another problem is that Topicscape is a personal product – it works on one computer – it is not a wiki. What you describe is web based, and though Topicscape can grab web pages and store links, it works at the browser level with pages as rendered, not accessing web server directory contents or individual files. It only does that on the users own PC.


  3. Freemind has an app that will let me show the map on a web page. I can open and close nodes. Can’t edit, but can present it there. Is there a similar app for Topicscape?

  4. We had one under development, but concluded that there was no real market for this. Please see Topicsight.