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Scientific computing on ice

Mindjet Corporation has completed a five-year process using MindManager to plan an 'Ice Warrior' expedition which is taking place during March and April this year.

This latest expedition with a team of novices, marshalled by Arctic-explorer, Jim McNeill, will attempt a polar journey that will explore the North West Passage.


Jim will then return to his base camp in Resolute Bay, the second most northerly community in Canada before attempting to reach the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility in a crucial scientific exploration of the Arctic Ocean, by aircraft.  

The pole, otherwise known as the Arctic Pole, has never before been reached and stands as the very last World First in Polar history. The planning for this epic journey started in 2003 under the leadership of Jim and with the use of MindManager, a visual information mapping tool.  The software was used by the Ice Warrior team to plan all their logistics and critical contingency measures down to the extreme detail during the preparation of this human endurance test.

The journey for the novices started on 5 March when Jim began a 50 day trek with the group, taking them through the North West Passage; a potential sea route through the northern part of Canada, which connects Europe with the Far East, shaving nearly 4000 miles off of the existing journey. The effects of global climate change are decreasing the amount of sea-ice in the passage making the route increasingly viable to mainline shipping; something which will drastically affect the whole area and its people. Ice Warrior will be conducting a series of experiments to measure global climate change while in route.


The use of MindManager figured centrally in the planning of this colossal project and provided an intuitive visual interface that rapidly captured, organised, and displayed information as intuitive data maps.

The tool was used for visually organising complex information in the most precise detail and was paramount in planning the expedition logistics and all possible contingencies, including route plans, emergency scenarios and evacuations.

Jim McNeill, Ice Warrior's founder, said: ‘These expeditions are logistically very complicated and visualisation software has been a revelation in planning for it.  As a team we have used the tool to visualise and brainstorm different events that we might face in the Arctic; even the unexpected and highly-unlikely scenarios.’


McNeill added: ‘MindManager is fantastic in that we can visualise any potential situation and plan for any contingency before we have even set off.  My team has played out multiple scenarios in simulation and feel we are as well planned as we have ever been.  When faced with a potentially life-threatening situation to the team, the responsibility of getting everyone home safely is imperative.’


By using MindManager, the project team was able to view all aspects of their expedition in a single map, ensuring that they had a strategic view and that no logistical aspects were accidentally omitted. On their map, the team identified responsibilities and tasks to be assigned and acted upon for all aspects of the expedition, ensuring efficient planning and delivery of the project while working together collaboratively.


The team also used MindManager to manage the expedition budget.  The project team compiled the various sponsorships received and managed how the different facets of marketing could be used to support each sponsor.

By using MindManager, the team was enabled to develop their own visually intuitive data maps to work out the best possible return on investment and benefit for each of the sponsors.

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