VIS Desktop

When you're working on an investigation, sometimes it's helpful to sketch out a network of all the participants so that you can understand who is linked to what. VIS is the tool for that.

VIS Desktop lets you sketch out networks of people, companies and other entities into a visual diagram of actors and connections. It uses the same types of nodes and connections as aleph and will eventually run both within the aleph interface and on your desktop computer.

When run as a desktop application, VIS does not upload or share your investigation files without explicitly prompting you.

At this stage, VIS Desktop is not ready for everyday use. We are releasing the current version to solicit feedback and ideas. Please feel invited to play with this test version, and don't forget to get in touch with your feedback.

Download VIS Desktop

VIS Desktop is available for download on GitHub. The application ships as a program for Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS X and common Linux distributions.

You are also welcome to explore and contribute to the source code of the application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below some of the common questions we've received about VIS Desktop. If you have another question or want to suggest an improvement, please get in touch.

How does this relate to OCCRP VIS?

Visual Investigative Scenarios (VIS) is an application developed by OCCRP, RISE Project and QuickData that is the inspiration for VIS Desktop. While it's been a beloved tool to some reporters, it has also become slow and cumbersome. We're unable to add new features and ensure its continued safety.

That's why we are planning to phase out the old version of VIS once VIS Desktop has become stable and battle-tested. Our goal is to export all existing VIS diagrams so that they can be opened in VIS Desktop, so that people can continue to work with their data. It's unlikely this transition will happen before 202.

How much data can I add to a VIS Desktop diagram?

The goal of VIS Desktop is to support investigative mind mapping, not big data analysis. While you may be able to add several hundred companies and people to a chart, the ideal size of a chart is somewhere around to 50-150 entities.

Can I make entities into groups?

Stay tuned.

Can I embed a diagram in an article?

Yes. In main the toolbar, you have an option to export an SVG graphic to a file. This SVG can be opened and "beautified" in a program like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape (open source), and eventually published to the web as an image.

Please be conscious, however, that VIS diagrams are mainly intended to be investigative sketches. Their complexity can easily exceed the complexity we should force our readers to deal with. Be nice to the mortals.

Can I import a spreadsheet of names and companies?

That'd be cool, right! We'll try to get it added soon.