Working with Google Drive

Google Drive is a cloud storage from Google that you can use to store and manage private maps, or collaborate with colleagues and friends in a controlled environment. This page outlines the most important information about working with Google Drive in MindMup. For more information on Google Drive in general, and associated products, see the Google Drive support page.


Prerequisites


You will need a Google account to store files to Drive. Private Google accounts have access to Drive without any special requirements. If you are using a corporate Google Apps account, then the Google Drive access will need to be enabled by your administrator (in most cases, it already is). To check if you have access to Drive, go to http://drive.google.com

MindMup does not need to know any particular details about your Google account and when working with Drive, the data passes from your browser to Drive directly, without going to our servers. So a technical prerequisite is to have Google Drive accessible from your network. (Again, a visit to their web page should confirm that).

Getting started

The first time you try to save a map to Google Drive, or to open a map stored on Google Drive by someone else, MindMup will ask you to authorise access to your Drive. It's important to know that all access to Drive goes directly from your browser, but Google requires you to approve our code (running in the browser) to load and save files in your account. Click on the "Click here to authenticate" link. 


If you are not currently logged in to your Google account, Google might pop up a dialog asking you to log in. Then it will present a dialog asking you to authorise access to your files from MindMup. Click on "Allow Access" button.

This will enable MindMup to access the files while you are online and logged in to your Google account in the browser session. It will also  add an application to your Google Drive, so that you can directly open MindMup and FreeMind files from Drive with a single click.

The operation you started (saving or loading) will now continue. From this point on, as long as you are logged in to the same Google account, you will not be asked to repeat the process. If you try to access any of your maps while not logged in, MindMup will ask you to authenticate, which will up bring the Google log in dialog. 

Remember that the maps are tied to your Google ID, so if you are logged on with a different account, MindMup will tell you that you aren't authorised to view the map (unless you allow the other accounts to view it, more on this below).

Saving Maps to Google Drive

To store maps on Googe Drive, click on the drop down next to the Save button. This will open a list of options for storage. Just select Google Drive. Once a map is saved to Google Drive, this will be the default storage option, and the icon next to the Save button will change to a Drive triangle. You can then just click on "Save" and send it to your Google Drive.

Unlike the maps stored on our public cloud storage, which are anonymous, Google Drive maps belong to a particular user so there is no reason to always generate a new version when saving. This means that a map is saved to the same file, and URLs of Google maps are permanent. For the most important differences between Google Drive and our storage, see Storage Options.

Accessing maps stored on Drive


MindMup automatically remembers the last map you saved, and opens it when you visit the site, so you will just continue where you left off the next time you visit the site. All maps you saved recently are also accessible from the "My Maps" top menu (working locally in the browser, so this will not be synchronised with other browsers or devices). The ones stored on Google Drive are clearly identified by the Drive icon (triangle). This menu keeps up to 10 recent maps, and allows you to quickly access them. 

If you would like to access an older map, or access your maps from a different device or browser, click on the "Open from Google Drive" option in the menu. This will bring up a dialog listing the MindMup and FreeMind files you can access on Google Drive (Files other people sent you will also appear here).

Another option is to go to the Google Drive web page and click on a file link. This will, in most browsers, automatically open the file in MindMup. (For some reason that we believe has to do with Google, IOS browsers do not do this. For mobile browsers, you'll have to use My Maps->Open from Google Drive).
You should see a blue spider MindMup icon next to your MindMup files.
If not, then MindMup was not marked as a default application for .mup files (we've heard reports of this happening as well with some users, unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it) and you'll have to go through one more configuration step.  Right-click on any mind map file, click Open With, and then select "Manage Apps". Scroll down to find MindMup and tick the checkbox "Use by Default". MindMup should now open your mind map files by default.
If MindMup does not appear in that menu, click on "Connect more apps" and search for MindMup in the dialog that opens. This will allow you to add MindMup manually to your Google Drive, in case of problems.

Opening FreeMind files directly

MindMup can open FreeMind files stored on your Google Drive directly. However, MindMap does not install as a default application, just in case you had some other applications that work with that. To open a FreeMind file directly from the Drive web page, right click the file, select Open With, and MindMup should show as an option. Click on that and the file will open in our application.  You can also open FreeMind files from My Maps -> Open from Google Drive -> FreeMind tab.
When you save the file, we will store a new MindMup file on your Drive instead of overwriting the FreeMind file (so opening a FreeMind file is effectively treated as an import).

Collaboration and sharing

Google Drive allows you to easily control access privileges on your files. If you are unfamiliar with Google Drive, see their support page on sharing for more information. When you share a map through the Google Drive interface, the recipient will get a link they can open directly. The file will also automatically appear in their Google Drive, and they will be able to access it using My Maps -> Open from Google Drive in MindMup.
Google Drive allows you to specify access privileges for collaborators. If you give them the authorisation to change a file, then we will just update the same file when they save (so you can see their changes as well). If you just give them the authorisation to see the file, they will get an option to save a copy. 
MindMup URLs for maps from Google Drive are permanent and give us enough information on reading the right file, so you can also just share the link from the MindMup page by e-mail or through any other sharing mechanism. Assuming you've made the map accessible to the recipient on Google Drive, they will be able to open it. 
Due to Google Drive API limitations, even files that are made completely public require a Google ID (so people won't be able to access them without logging into Google and authorising MindMup). If you want to share something with the whole world, we suggest saving to Drive while you are working on it, but then switching to our public storage before sharing (select MindMup from the save options menu).
If you try to open a map, and MindMup says that you do not have the right to view it, this is due to the map not being accessible to the currently logged in Google ID in your browser session. Go to the Drive page (or any other Google page), log out, and log in as the user with access rights to view the map.
Realtime collaboration (when multiple users edit the map simultaneously) is also supported through Google Drive but works as an extension that you have to activate. For more information, see the Realtime Collaboration page.