Shared virtual whiteboard: Suggestions?

29 Feb 2008 - 8:57am
2 years ago
13 replies
7448 reads
Jonas Löwgren
2003

I am looking for a setup to share a virtual whiteboard in
geographically distributed design sessions.

NEEDS-TO-HAVE:
- runs on Mac and Win, or (even better) platform-independent
- supports free-hand drawing
- imports bitmap files or screen shots to draw on
- more than one user can draw simultaneously

NICE-TO-HAVE:
- runs without installing very complicated dedicated server software
- freeware, shareware or affordable payware

My intention is to use it together with audio/video conf such as
Skype for a small project team (2-4 people) to run focused creative
sessions across geographic locations.

So far, I have looked at the following products and deemed them
unsuitable: Yugma, Persony, uSeeToo, Sketch Pad, TalkAndWrite,
Whiteboard Meeting and Skype 3.0 beta sketchpad extra.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

Thanks,
Jonas Löwgren

Comments

29 Feb 2008 - 10:16am
Lon Hetrick
2008

Microsoft Communicator may be worth your consideration even if it
falls short of your requirements.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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29 Feb 2008 - 1:52pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Hi Jonas,

This looks like a tall order. I can think of products that meet three
out of four of the "needs-to-have" requirements, but not all.

GE Imagination Cubed
http://www.imaginationcubed.com/
Multiuser, freehand drawing, platform independent, but no image
annotation.

WebEx
http://www.webex.com/
Freehand drawing, image annotation, Mac/PC, but no collaborative
editing (only broadcast).

e/pop
http://www.wiredred.com/web-collaboration/
Multiuser, freehand drawing, image annotation, but PC-only.

Some of your discarded options (like TalkAndWrite) seem to do
everything you need except run on a Mac. Have you considered
installing a copy of Parallels to eliminate this fourth hurdle? If
that's not an option, what about hooking up a few of these solutions
in serial? Screenshare a TalkAndWrite session through WebEx so the Mac
crowd can at least follow along...

// jeff

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29 Feb 2008 - 3:42pm
Anonymous

> WebEx
> http://www.webex.com/
> Freehand drawing, image annotation, Mac/PC, but no collaborative
> editing (only broadcast).

Well - there is the meetmenow thing:
http://webex.com/individual/online-meeting.html

I'm going to be trying this out - we've a new corporate WebEx account.
It does have desktop sharing - and controll..

"Pass control of your computer to any attendee and let them steer the meeting."

Now, I've just got myself a Wacom tablet (for my poor crippled
fingers) which will also be GREAT for drawing and I can see WebEx
being scribbled on with this like a whiteboard.

I think the one-at-a-time control will be quite good too (can you
imagine several cursors on screen drawing different things? Ugh!)
although still slightly artificial.

Jonas, I feel your pain - I have to work with guys in Asia/Australasia
AND the States / Canada.

There is no easy solution. One of the products I'd like to play with
for collaboration is ephox's editlive.

I think (as it's installable on your own servers) the best document
collaboration tool that I've seen-without-using. I'd certainly love to
not have to piece together 14 word documents with changes tracked -
even WITH the merge feature...

Alex.

1 Mar 2008 - 10:41am
Corn Walker
2008

On Feb 29, 2008, at 8:57 AM, Jonas Löwgren wrote:

> I am looking for a setup to share a virtual whiteboard in
> geographically distributed design sessions.
>
> NEEDS-TO-HAVE:
> - runs on Mac and Win, or (even better) platform-independent
> - supports free-hand drawing
> - imports bitmap files or screen shots to draw on
> - more than one user can draw simultaneously
>
> NICE-TO-HAVE:
> - runs without installing very complicated dedicated server software
> - freeware, shareware or affordable payware

Jonas,

Adobe Acrobat Connect, formerly Macromedia Breeze, nearly meets all
of your "Needs-to-have" criteria. While viewing presentations works
on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Solaris, collaboration features (sharing,
annotating) requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later or Windows 98SE or later.
It supports multiple users freehand drawing simultaneously. Document
formats supported include PPT, SWF, JPEG, MP3, and FLV so you may
need to convert your bitmaps/screen shots.

In terms of the "nice-to-have" criteria, it isn't free but there are
several hosted options available so you don't have to install any
server software. You'll need to define what "affordable" means but I
suspect it will be on the high end of the price spectrum for you.

On the client end you'll need the free browser add-in component which
installs and auto-launches easily enough. This enables any client to
become a presenter and share their desktop, documents, or
whiteboards. It also has an audio/video sharing feature that is, as
might be expected, bandwidth dependent.

Corn Walker
The Proof Group
http://proofgroup.com/

1 Mar 2008 - 9:26pm
Roy
2007

http://us.ajax13.com/en/ajaxsketch/
free, browser based so multi-platform.

http://www.cumulatelabs.com/cumulatedraw/
free for individual use, browser based so multi-platform.

http://www.gliffy.com/
free, browser based so multi-platform.

http://flowchart.com/
free, browser based so multi-platform, rather geared to specific diagram types, so may fettered.

http://www.skrbl.com/
$10 per month, browser based so multi-platform, describes itself as an online whiteboard.

http://thinkature.com/
free, browser based so multi-platform, describes itself as an online whiteboard.

I got these all from http://www.mind-mapping.org which has more than
just mindmapping software using the Refine Software List tab to pick
"diagramming". I haven't used any of them.

Roy

Roy

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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3 Mar 2008 - 12:29am
Craig Pickering
2007

Add ConceptShare to the list http://www.conceptshare.com/howitworks/

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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4 Mar 2008 - 1:06am
Mat Atkinson
2008

Try ProofHQ as well (www.proofhq.com)

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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9 Mar 2008 - 2:24pm
Máirín Duffy
2005

Hi Jonas,

Might I suggest Coccinella? It is Jabber-based, free & open-source,
and it is cross-platform (Linux, Mac, Windows).

This is a tips & tricks document I wrote for its usage in Linux. I
have not tried the Mac or Windows clients:

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/MairinDuffy/WhiteBoard

Hope this helps,
~m

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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10 Mar 2008 - 10:36am
Robert Holowka
2007

You may want to give our online collaboration service Octopz a try.
It's based on Flash and runs completely in the web browser.

You can upload a range of standard office documents, wireframe and
design comps and rich media files, including video, to a private and
secure Octopz room and invite others to brainstorm, markup and
comment on designs in real-time or asynchronously. Octopz also has
built-in text, voice and video chat to facilitate live discussions.

Check out the free trial and testimonials at www.octopz.com

Best,

Rob

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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30 Mar 2010 - 4:46am
Allan_David
2010

Online software reseller

 

ComponentIndia: The original shareware online software reseller website, featuring free downloads of shareware, trialware, freeware and demo software selling website, a huge collection of windows software.

 

 

30 Mar 2010 - 6:10pm
Kim Hopkins
2009

Try www.dabbleboard.com

On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 7:07 AM, Allan_David <qualityservices.ncr@gmail.com> wrote:

*Online software reseller*

 

ComponentIndia: The original shareware online software reseller [1] website, featuring free downloads of shareware, trialware, freeware and demo software selling website, a huge collection of windows software.*
*

 

 

(((
30 Mar 2010 - 7:56pm
Maurice
2009

Try MockFlow:
http://www.mockflow.com

Hope this helps.

5 Aug 2012 - 4:53pm
alex.49.98
2012

Here is a new, simple but rather capable and quick evolving application - http://whiteboard.megascopes.com/. The only thing you need is a HTML5 compatible browser. It doesn't require any plug-ins, registration or login.

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