Mindmap View (Desktop)

Mindmap View provides a free-form, graphical layout that allows you to arrange items onto an art-board and draw relationships between them. This is most useful during early brainstorming stages of a project, or when creating visual diagrams highlighting relationships between key events, people or places.

The benefit of using Mindmap View within Aeon Timeline over another tool is that the data then already exists in your timeline, and the same items can then be displayed across the other views in the application without double-handling the data. 

Aeon Timeline allows you to create multiple separate mindmaps so that you can create visualisations and diagrams for different aspects of your timeline data.

The Mindmap View Interface 

The image below shows the individual components of the Mindmap View.

The components of the interface highlighted in the above image are as follows:

  1. Mindmap View Split Header: Double click on the text label in the header to rename the mindmap.
  2. Mindmap Canvas: A free-form canvas for you to add items, nodes and connections
  3. Mindmap View Footer: The footer for Mindmap View

Creating a Mindmap

You can create a new mindmap by choosing New Mindmap after clicking on the Mindmap button in the toolbar.

Creating new Nodes

You can add new items to Mindmap View in two ways:

  1. Double click the workspace
  2. Use the + button in the sidebar 

Items you add to your Mindmap are automatically available in other parts of the application: depending on the item type, they may be added to the chronological-order of events (and thus appear in the Spreadsheet), or appear in the Entity List panel when you view items of that type.

If you don't want this to occur, you can instead create an item of type  Node, which will be displayed the Mindmap View and nowhere else. You can of course create all items on your Mindmap as Nodes initially, and then reclassify them into other types when you are ready to make those elements available to other views.

Adding existing Items

You can add existing nodes into your Mindmap by dragging them in from other views:

  • To drag entities such as People and Places, you can open the Entity List Panel by clicking on the appropriate icon for those item types in the Sidebar, and then drag items from that list onto your mindmap canvas
  • For events and other items which do not exist in entity lists, you will need to use Split View instead, with your mindmap open in one of the views, and another view (such as Timeline, Spreadsheet, or even a different Mindmap) that contains the item you are after in the other.

Arranging Items

You can drag items wherever you want within the mindmap canvas. The mindmap canvas has no fixed bounds: it will continue to grow as you add content, so there will always be room available.

Dragged items will automatically snap to align to the edge or center of another node if you drag them closely into that alignment. A blue line will appear indicating the alignment between the dragged node and the target node. 

Adding and removing connections

Connections in the Mindmap View are shown based on the relationships that exist between items.

Any existing relationships between items will be automatically shown on the mindmap view as you add those items into the view.

To add further relationships:

  1. Hover your mouse over a Mindmap Node, and look for the connection icon () to appear
  2. Start a drag from this connection icon, and release it on any other node within the same mindmap
  3. Choose the type of relationship you wish to create from the ensuing dropdown menu (the list of available relationship types depends on your chosen template, and the two item types involved)

You can repeat this same action to remove a relationship by deselecting that relationship type when the dropdown list appears.

Relationships created in a Mindmap will also apply to those items in any other view.

Adjusting View Settings

When a Mindmap View is active, the footer will show numerous controls to alter the display settings of the narrative.

Card Details: Choose which properties are visible within each item card
Show Relationship Labels: Toggles whether labels are overlayed on top of relationships drawn in the view.
100% Visual Scale: Change an optical scale across Work Views, making content visually larger or smaller. At smaller values, you will be able to see the layout of more content, but it may become difficult to read.

These controls apply universally across all Mindmap Views.