Free Concept map tools

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This is one of 14 articles listing tools for making various types of maps. The tools are all available free of charge. The articles cover tools for making mind maps, concept maps, flowcharts, diagrams, treemaps, argument maps (and similar types), maps for use in wikis and maps for information- and knowledge-management.

Below is the list of software and apps for making mind maps.

Free concept map software and apps[edit]

The term ‘Concept maps’ is used loosely in this list to mean ‘anything can connect to anything’ in contrast with mind maps where there is a strong hierarchy and central topic. For a proper definition please refer to the WikIT article on Concept maps, How to make a concept map and Concept maps or mind maps? the choice.

Software Licence Platform Screenshot
3D Topicscape Student Edition Free Windows
Topicscape SE screenshot Free option with limitations Online, browser-based screenshot
Cayra Free (Defunct but still available
from the link on the left)
Cayra screenshot
CmapTools Free to personal, education and
government users*
Windows, Mac, Linux
CmapTools screenshot
CoFFEE Free Windows, Mac, Linux
CoFFEE screenshot
Compendium Free Windows, Mac, Linux
Compendium screenshot
Conzilla Free Windows, Mac, Linux
Conzilla screenshot
Hypergraph Free Online, browser-based
Hypergraph screenshot
InfoRapid KnowledgeBase BuilderSee Review Free (for non-commercial use) Windows
InfoRapid KnowledgeBase Builder screenshot
Labyrinth Free Linux
Labyrinth screenshot
LifeMap Free Mac (not known if this runs on OSX)
LifeMap screenshot
VUE (Visual Understanding Environment) Free Windows, Mac, Linux
VUE screenshot
*Some people find navigating the Cmap site idiosycratic – the interface is a little unusual – so here’s the skinny:
  • Under most of the concept boxes there’s a small icon
  • hover over that and you will see a text link just below
  • click on it.
  • Some links are to other very similar looking Cmaps, so you may think that it’s linked back to the same page. It hasn’t.
  • Still lost? Here to speed you on your way is the download link for Cmap.

For free information about the hundreds of
visual thinking tools available, visit the

Visual Thinking Center