Author Topic: Compendium is the semantic hypertext concept mapping tool written in Java 5  (Read 3605 times)

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Software Santa

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Compendium is the semantic hypertext concept mapping tool written in Java 5 - good for Mind Mapping!

A newer project has taken over, and continues, this project: CompendiumNG

For Linux, Windows, or Mac OS Tiger (10.4) or later: requires Java 1.5 (Java 5 Version 4).

Compendium is about sharing ideas, creating artifacts, making things together, and breaking down the boundaries between dialogue, artifact, knowledge, and data.

What is Compendium?

Compendium is the semantic hypertext concept mapping tool at the heart of the Compendium methodology. It is the result of over 15 years' continual research, deployment and development of a tool to support the real time mapping of discussions in meetings, collaborative modelling, and the longer term management of this information as organizational memory.

Compendium was initially developed in Verizon research labs as a next generation version of the QuestMap product (read more) which provided software support for the widely recognised IBIS methodology (Issue-Based Information System), as embodied in Dialog Mapping by CogNexus Institute.

Compendium is arguably the most advanced IBIS mapping tool available, but goes much further with the addition of extensive support for web publishing, integration with other applications, support for multiple methods, and other advanced functionality. Verizon, CogNexus, and other Compendium practitioners are now collaborating with the Knowledge Media Institute at the Open University (UK) who are developing the software further and integrating it with other collaboration technologies (see their eScience CoAKTinG project).

Compendium is a robust system, used for real work, but not a commercial product. Its first free public release, of v.1.2, occurred in January 2003, followed by many other releases. The source code became freely available in 2004.

About Compendium

Compendium is a software tool providing a flexible visual interface for managing the connections between information and ideas.

It places few constraints on how you organise material, though many have found that it provides support for structured working for instance, following a methodology or modelling technique. Our own particular interest is in visualizing the connections between people, ideas and information at multiple levels, in mapping discussions and debates, and what skills are needed to do so in a participatory manner that engages all stakeholders.

Validated in both small and large scale projects across diverse sectors in society, it is the result of over 15 years' research and development at the intersection of hypertext, collaborative modelling, organizational memory, computer-supported argumentation and meeting facilitation.

Personal Use

Many people use Compendium to manage their personal digital information resources, since you can drag+drop in any document, website, email, image, etc, organise them visually, and then connect ideas, arguments and decisions to these. Compendium thus becomes the 'glue' that allows you to pool and make sense of disparate material that would otherwise remain fragmented in different software applications. You can assign your own keyword 'tags' to these elements (icons), create your own palettes of icons that have special meanings, overlay maps on top of background images, and place/edit a given icon in many different places at once: things don't always fit neatly into just one box in real life.

If you're technical, you can exploit our XML scheme, the Derby or MySQL relational database, and public Java classes to connect Compendium to other databases and computational services. (If that sentence meant anything to you, then check out our developer website!)

Group Use

Extending Compendium's support for personal sensemaking, we have a particular interest in what we term collective sensemaking, and have developed a technique called Dialogue Mapping, and its extension, Conversational Modelling. Our experiences with these techiques for capturing and managing -- often in real time and under pressure -- the perspectives in meetings that emerge in open discussion or in collaborative modelling, lead us to claim that Compendium offers innovative strategies for tackling some of the key challenges in managing knowledge and making meaning:

    * improving communication between disparate communities tackling ill-structured problems
    * real time capture and integration of hybrid material (both predictable/ formal, and unexpected/informal) into a reusable group memory
    * transforming the resulting resource into the right representational formats for different stakeholders.

As an open, flexible tool, Compendium has myriad applications for information-intensive, intellectual work. Most of our global community, spanning all organizational sectors, are simply using Compendium to help them do their job (see below for some of their views). Rather fewer (ourselves included) are reflective practitioners, academics or industrial researchers with the time and interest to write articles: see the case studies and other documents.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 06:53:14 PM by Software Santa »


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