I’ve been known to make a fair amount of use of computer based concept and mind mapping tools to help me organize information or get my head around a tricky problem (I find linear thinking difficult). So I was pleased to be reminded of VUE, the Visual Understanding Environment from Tufts University, by an email announcing the official release of VUE 2. I remember VUE from a few years back as a way of creating a sort of concept map user interface for repositories. VUE 2 has that, with interfaces to fedora, Flickr, JSTOR, Wikipedia, but the real emphasis is rightly on its potential as an Understanding Environment: “VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information.” New in version 2 is support for predefined ontologies, the website says “VUE also provide tools to apply semantic meaning to the maps, by way of ontologies and metadata schemas.” So I guess VUE is also very relevant to the discussions we have been having at CETIS since the semantic technologies for teaching and learning session at last November’s conference.

Update: one of the outcomes of some the discussions I mention above has just been released, a JISC ITT for a study on the potential of semantic technologies for learning and teaching.