InfoRapid KnowledgeBase Builder is an interesting free (for personal use) tool for creating mind maps, simple diagrams which can help you visualise and structure information.
Not sure what we mean? Fortunately the program comes with a simple example by way of explanation, on checking the health of a web server: there's an "Is the webserver OK?" question, a "Yes" arrow pointing to "Everything OK", and a "No" arrow which points to another question ("Is there a resource exhaustion?") and further options. So here a mind map is acting as a simple way to describe a diagnostic process, and the relationships between it.
But there's more to this sample mind map than there appears. Move your mouse cursor over any question and a pop-up window appears, with further details. The images aren't just for show - clicking them can also display extra information. And as you click questions, so the mind map will expand. Click "Is a software failure", say, and a further question will appear, should the answer be "No": "Is the security compromised?". This isn't just the simple flowchart you might think, it's a dynamic and interactive document which really can help to explain all kinds of concepts and ideas.
For another interesting take on the same technology, click File > New, then Tools > Generate Site Map, and point the program at www.google.com. In just a few seconds it'll generate a stylish site map showing you the layout of Google's site. And you can click on various pages to move around the map, double-click to zoom in on them, and more.
And, of course, once you understand how this all works then you can begin to enter the objects and relationships necessary to build maps of your own. Although this may take quite some time; there are lots of options here, and vanishingly little help.
One major issue with all of this is there's no way to export your maps in a standard format that others can view them immediately (you can save the details in a CSV file, but that probably won't help you very much).
Still, you can show people a map on your own system. And as the KnowledgeBase Builder is just a single executable, you could always zip up your own database with a copy of the program if you need others to see it. Plus the maps look so good that even just printed copies may be useful. So, if you've any interest in this kind of tool, InfoRapid KnowledgeBase Builder definitely deserves a closer look.
It's very powerful and produces excellent interactive maps, but InfoRapid KnowledgeBase Builder really needs more help and some additional export options