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Published on March 1st, 2016 📆 | 5955 Views ⚑


Lumify — Open Source Big Data Analytics and Visualization

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Lumify is an open source project to create a big data fusion, analysis, and visualization platform designed for anyone to use. Its intuitive web-based interface helps users discover connections and explore relationships in their data via a suite of analytic options, including 2D and 3D graph visualizations, full-text faceted search, dynamic histograms, interactive geographic maps, and collaborative workspaces shared in real-time.

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Understanding a couple key concepts will greatly help in making sense of what Lumify does and how it does it.

  • Ontology – An ontology is the structure for organizing information you care to analyze in Lumify. Basically, it’s your data model. The entities, relationships, and properties that make up Lumify’s graph are entirely specified by you using OWL.
  • Entity – An entity is any “thing” you want to represent in Lumify. It could be a person, place, event, etc. Entities have properties and relationships to other entities.
  • Relationship – A relationship is a link between two entities. For example, Joe (entity) works with (relationship) Susan (entity). Lumify can be configured to understand and enforce valid relationships between entities.
  • Properties – Properties are data about an entity. For example, a person entity may have properties for first name, last name, date of birth, height, weight, etc. Lumify will track whatever properties you define in your ontology.
  • Graph – The data model within Lumify is stored as a graph of entities, or things, and the relationships between those entities. For the technologists out there, these are usually referred to as vertices (entities) and edges (relationships). Entities and relationships can have one or more associated properties.

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As an open source project, Lumify features are evolving all the time. Below is an explanation of the primary ones.

  • Search – Lumify provides a full-text search over everything in your graph. You can also use custom filters built from properties defined in your ontology.
  • Graph Visualization – The primary feature of Lumify is the graph visualization. Lumify provides both 2D and 3D graph visualizations with a variety of automatic layouts to help you tame a crowded graph.
  • Link Analysis – Lumify provides a variety of options for analyzing the links between entities on the graph. A right click menu on any entity allows you to display all related entities, find paths to another entity, and establish a new relationship (i.e. connect) to another entity.
  • Geospatial Analysis – Lumify provides the ability to integrate any Open Layers-compatible mapping system, such as Google Maps or ESRI, for geospatial analysis. Any data tagged with location information can be aggregated and viewed on a map.
  • Multimedia Analysis – Data comes in all shapes and sizes. Out of the box, Lumify comes with specific ingest processing and interface elements for textual content, images, and videos.
  • Collaboration – Lumify’s spaces feature allows you to organize work into a set of projects, or workspaces. Each space can be individually shared in read-only or edit mode with other Lumify users. Changes to the space are immediately propagated to everyone sharing the workspace without needing to refresh browser windows.



Why use Lumify?

The challenge of making sense of the ever-increasing volumes of data isn’t going away any time soon. The ability to effectively deal with this data-deluge will be a key differentiator for businesses moving forward. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, was recently quoted as saying that “the biggest disrupter (of 2014) that we’re sure about is the arrival of big data and machine intelligence everywhere”. Lumify can serve as that platform. It is

  • Free – Lumify is completely free. There are no licensing or usage fees whatsoever for the software.
  • Permissively Licensed – All Lumify code is licensed under the Apache 2 license, giving you the freedom to use it commercially, modify, and redistribute.
  • Open Source – All Lumify source code is open and available. You can go see it right now. With that openness comes the ability to change and adapt it to your needs.
  • Scalable – We didn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel with Lumify. It’s built on proven, scalable, open source big data technologies including Apache Hadoop and Apache Accumulo.
  • Secure – Lumify is built on top of Accumulo and leverages its cell-level security features to individually control access to entities, properties, and relationships.
  • Supported – Altamira is committed to building an open source big data analysis and visualization platform for its customers and the wider open source community. We’ve dedicated a full-time development team to making this a success.

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Open Source Big Data… Prerequisites ?!

The following prerequisites must be installed prior to building the Lumify Demo Virtual Machine.


Clone the Lumify repo

Checkout the Lumify Source Code using the following Git command.

$ cd <working dir>
$ git clone


Build and run the Lumfy Demo

The following commands will start the Lumify Demo Virtual Machine. If the virtual machine has not been built it will be built and then started.

$ cd <working dir>/lumify
$ vagrant up demo

Use the following command to add the lumify-demo IP address to your hosts file.

sudo echo "  lumify-demo" >> /etc/hosts

You can open an ssh shell to the machine as follows

$ vagrant ssh demo

Please see the Vagrant help for other commands that may be useful.


Open Lumify in your web browser

Connect to the Lumify Web App that is running on the Virtual Machine using either Chrome or Firefox and the following URL.



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