After too many years, I’m finally building myself a NAS: network-attached storage, a device for backing up files, photos, and all the data that is otherwise in the cloud. Say goodbye, FANGs, I’m going self-hosted.
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been attempting to revive an opensource project called Openlumify.
The project is an “intelligence amplification platform” — import a bunch of data about “stuff”, then explore connections (graph), proximity (map) and temporality (timeline) in a human-directed investigation from any one data-point, such as starting with an “known POI”, expanding the search to associates (via call records, emails, aliases, sightings, co-ownership, etc), and plotting related events on a timeline and/or map to test a hypotheses, gather evidence or just understand a given situation.
(IMO, the value largely comes from the import (“ingestion”) — pulling from different sources including OSINT and in-house datastores and programmatically deriving entities and their relationships. We had a similar system at a company I used to work for and it was surprisingly satisfying to see it work: thousands of documents being ingested and processed to match IP addresses, phone numbers and names against log files, call records and criminal databases. I might not have access to these datasources any more, but it could still be fun to process my personal mailbox, or plot political machinations, or analyze history, or … there are just so many use-cases.)
So yeah, I’ve wanted a platform for this for ages, obsessed as I am with mind-maps and relationship graphs, and have kept an eye on the precursor to Openlumify for a number of years. The codebase was originally an opensource (Apache 2.0) product called Lumify, by the company of the same name, but was subsumed and/or renamed by Altamira, then Visallo, before the source was closed. (Assume it is still being worked on behind closed-doors, but haven’t even attempted to confirm that.)
The codebase I have, then, is a fork of a fork (…) that has at least the most basic functionality — and I’ve finally managed to get it building again! (If that doesn’t sound exciting to you, I’m guessing you’ve never worked on a multi-module Maven project from 2015.)
I’m driven to ensure it remains opensource, so I’ll be doing whatever I can to make it easier for other developers to get started using the platform, and hopefully some will get involved in the project. To this end, I’ve created a organization on Github to host any/all repos, manage bugs and features, and collect and author documentation. I’ve also made a start on a product website, which definitely needs work.