So, what is nodegoat in short?

  • nodegoat is a data management tool first, an analysis and visualisation tool second. This makes nodegoat a powerful tool, since you can design a custom made data model that covers every aspect of your research question. This also means that you have to design a data model in nodegoat first, before you can use any of nodegoat's functionalities. If you have never created a data model before, nodegoat is a great opportunity to learn how you can best do this. To start, we recommend you to read these three blog posts.
  • Type → Object → Sub-Object. While other terms will also come up, this hierarchy covers the essence of the way nodegoat handles data. Your data will be organised by Types, e.g. 'Person', 'Book', or 'Event'. Each Type contains Objects, e.d. 'Ľudovít Štúr', 'Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen', or 'Polish Uprising' respectively. These Objects contain Sub-Objects that contextualise these Objects in space and time, e.g. 'Birth', 'Publication', or 'Occurrence' respectively.
  • Time and Space matter. nodegoat was initially conceptualised for and by researchers in the humanities. The result of this is that the core of nodegoat centers around spatiality, chronology, and relationality. Whenever possible, it is advisable to use Sub-Objects to contextualise your Objects in time and space. Of course, you can use nodegoat in completely atemporal and non-spatial manner as well.
  • nodegoat enables explorative research. Due to the flexibility that nodegoat offers and the instant visual feedback it provides, nodegoat excels in explorative research processes.

For what kind of research questions can I use nodegoat?

Regardless of your discipline, you can use nodegoat for any research project in which you are dealing with bits of evidence that have one or more of the following aspects:

  • Relations (author→book, employee→institute) – filter, analyse and visualise complex relations between objects.
  • Sources – support each piece of evidence with various sources.
  • Geographical coordinates – visualise objects on an interactive and georeferenced map.
  • Temporal attributes – do all or any of the above diachronically.

What are common use cases?

  • I want to build up a data structure from scratch and start entering data. Whether you have your data model figured out, or you want to experiment with different models, nodegoat offers you total control on the way you want to setup your data structure. This allows you to create a custom data model that fits the needs of your project. Once you have your data model in place, you can start entering your data as precise or as uncertain as you prefer.
  • I have a large amount of data that I want to visualise. Since nodegoat runs on custom built data models, you will first need to build a data design in nodegoat that suits your data. Once you have a data model up and running, you can import your data into nodegoat and visualise the data.
  • I have a group of researchers that want to collaborate on a dataset. Since nodegoat is web-based, it runs in any browser and on any operating system. There is no need for installing a local client. nodegoat gives you all the tools you need in terms of user management, clearance levels, and communication to easily work together on a project.

You can find a couple of use cases here.

How can I access nodegoat?

In order to share the functionalities of nodegoat with the scholarly community, scholars and research institutes are invited to use nodegoat for their own research purposes. Click here to request a hosted nodegoat account. It is also possible to run nodegoat on your (institute's) server. Send an email to to inquire about setting up an institutional partnership.

Where can I find the nodegoat Documentation?

Why is there a goat in nodegoat?

“Goats are extremely curious and intelligent.” []

Can I explore exemplary data?

Yes. To explore data and a data design on paintings by Rembrandt, you login with username ‘demo_rembrandt’ and password ‘demo’.

Who built nodegoat?

nodegoat is developed and maintained by LAB1100 (Pim van Bree & Geert Kessels,

How can I cite nodegoat

Bree, P. van, Kessels, G., (2013). nodegoat: a web-based data management, network analysis & visualisation environment, from LAB1100,