<< back

VUE 3.3.0

Concept and content mapping application

Category: Education
Price: Free
Popularity: Low
Version String: 3.3.0
Release Date: 2015-10-08
Minimum OS: macOS 10.4
Vendor Name: Tufts University
Homepage: vue.tufts.edu

Version History 3.3.0



What is VUE?

At its core, the Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is a concept and content mapping application, developed to support teaching, learning and research and for anyone who needs to organize, contextualize, and access digital information. Using a simple set of tools and a basic visual grammar consisting of nodes and links, faculty and students can map relationships between concepts, ideas and digital content.

Concept mapping is not new to the educational field. In fact, the benefits of concept mapping as a learning tool have been documented by over 40 years of cognitive science research. VUE provides a concept mapping interface, which can be used as such, or as an interface to organize digital content in non-linear ways.

Numerous tools currently exist for locating digital information, but few applications are available for making sense of the information available to us. As the availability of digital information continues to increase, VUE sets itself apart as a flexible tool to help faculty and students integrate, organize and contextualize electronic content in their work. Digital content can be accessed via the Web, or using the VUE’s “Resources” panel to tap into digital repositories, FTP servers and local file systems.

Sharing and presenting information are important aspects of academic work. VUE’s pathways feature allows presenters to create annotated trails through their maps, which become expert guided walk-throughs of the information. The pathways feature also provides a “slide view” of the information on the map. The power of VUE’s slide mode is the ability for presenters to focus on content (slide view) while preserving the information’s context (map view), by way of a single toggle between the two views.

VUE also provides supports for in-depth analysis of maps, with the ability to merge maps and export connectivity matrices to import in statistical packages. VUE also provide tools to apply semantic meaning to the maps, by way of ontologies and metadata schemas.

VUE can be used by anyone interested in visually structuring digital content, whether in support of teaching difficult to understand concepts or more
generally, a tool for organizing personal digital resources.

Enhanced Pathways and Presentation Tools

Creating Pathways
Adding a node to a pathway now produces a slide where node content can be arranged for presentation purposes. Authors may edit the slide view directly on the map by zooming in to the slide thumbnail and selecting the editing tools, without impacting the underlying map.

Playback Pathways
The Playback tool launches VUE into full-screen presentation mode. Presenters can use the mouse, arrow keys or space bar to move through a presentation. Images can be zoomed in via a single click without exiting the presentation, and a map overlay may be displayed by pressing the "M" key. Presenters can also zoom out to the map and select any node as the focus. By moving the cursor to the far right of the screen during a presentation, presenters can show any content linked to a node on the presentation pathway.


Interactive Zoom
By using VUE’s new presentation zoom tool, authors may quickly zoom any node to full-screen mode with a single click. In addition, clicking while holding down the shift key will further zoom in to the image content of the selected node. Note that content zooming is only animated while in full-screen mode. This feature enables presenters to quickly explore the details of high-resolution images that are embedded in VUE nodes.

Visual Pruning
VUE links now present a basic toggle element to allow users to collapse and expand branches of nodes.

Exploration Tool
The exploration tools provide dynamic ways to select and fade out nodes and links, in addiiton to zooming in and out of the map during presentations.

Dynamic Content Mapping

RSS / CSV Import
Datasets (CSV) and XML feeds (RSS) can be imported into VUE. VUE can help analyze and visualize the data.

Authors may now import ontologies defined in RDF-S or OWL formats directly into VUE, allowing for the creation of concept maps from pre-defined object and relationship types. A defined mapping vocabulary scaffolds map creation and supports computer-assisted map comparison and assessment. The visual characteristics of objects and relationships defined in an ontology may also be styled via a CSS file.

Merge Maps
VUE supports the merging of a set of maps into a single map and offers two modes for visualizing nodes and links that are shared across maps: vote or weight. Vote enables users to set a threshold to show nodes and links that meet a specific requirement (e.g., nodes and links that are in at least 35% of the maps). The weight mode color codes the nodes based on frequency of occurrence. Using an ontology is not required to use the merge maps tools, as the merging is currently based on node and link labels. VUE 2.0 will allow maps to be merged on unique IDs or a combination of a node's metadata.