Category Archives: Blog

An Introduction to Meta Data, Types, and Its Benefits

In IT, the word “metadata” basically refers primarily to the data behind the image, video or software application. Metadata implies data comprising of specific information that includes length, textual makeup, type, description, locational data, and other features or types of data that are used to either build or identify the element. Several types of hidden data are contained in a variety of documents, pictures, and videos which we will refer to as “elements” for the sake of this article.   For Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) practitioners, accessing the metadata behind any of these elements can sometimes be a treasure trove of valuable information.

With considerations to the scope and a variety of data types, it is not surprising that understanding metadata is becoming a priority for OSINT practitioners and other open-source research professionals. There are also other features embedded within metadata to protect the element from misuse, which includes the definition, description, limitations, and structure of the data in order to protect information leakage from things such as social media sites.


Types of Metadata

Metadata is further divided into three subcategories:

  • Administrative: It enables the usage of enhanced resource management, which displays information relating to when and how the data was made. Administrative metadata are further divided into preservation metadata and intellectual property rights (we will dive deeper into these sub-subcategories in an upcoming article).
  • Descriptive: It applies to discovery and identification with additional information like abstract, author, keywords, and title.
  • Structural: The structural category indicates how information is combined. For instance, the chapter, page arrangement, order, and more.


The Benefits of Metadata.

Metadata is beneficial for several purposes. A common benefit is data that makes the element discoverable, which comprises of information like resource identification, defining criteria, as geographical information.

Another practical benefit comes with the organization of electronic resources. It is also a critical use which supports the growth of Web-based resources. Characteristically, element links are organized as lists and created into static webpages, with other information hardcoded.

Metadata is also beneficial in facilitating integration and interoperability operations. The use of metadata also details the process in describing resources required to understand humans and machines. This understanding allows for effective interoperability, better data structures, and the interfacing process.  This is a key feature to metadata that assists artificial intelligence engines with finding and integrating the element.

Metadata also enables digital identification through standard numbers that offer a unique identity to resources defined by the metadata. Also, another practice is the combination of metadata, which serves as an identification process.

Lastly, metadata provides significant benefits in protecting future approachability. It offers critical concern offered to the fragility of digital data and vulnerability to corruption. For tasks relating to archiving and preservation, metadata can track an object’s lineage, provide physical characteristics description, and more.  For an OSINT practitioner, this is important to understand, and being able to find and extract metadata is important for research purposes and for identifying new leads, the source of the element of the larger data set with which the element belongs or is a part of.


Get-Metadata offers a free online tool that permits accessibility to hidden Exif & metadata for a variety of files, including audio, document, e-book, image, video file, and more. The platform can provide all metadata hidden within a file.  This incredible resource and others like it can be found on the Cyber Intelligence Dashboard (CID).  And, if you would like to learn more about the process of extracting metadata and the methods required to apply it to your research or investigation, feel free to check out the training courses available at The Echo Academy for Open Source Research and Analysis.

Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur who teaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence-related topics.  Buddy currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida.

Forming A Research Question

The development of robust research questions is essential in guiding open source information gathering efforts. Most information requests require focused thought and problem-solving to properly begin a disciplined approach to satisfying the requirement. With this in mind, it becomes essential to get very detailed when forming a research question, and for businesses conducting open source research for their clients, it is worth building procedure around this process.  In our courses, we consistently emphasize the importance of asking the right questions about the request before formulating a question and starting your research.  Not doing so will likely result in unorganized research efforts resluting in much more work by the team later into the project. In this article, we will try to provide some simple tips and recomendations to ensure your next open source research effort gets off to a good start and is well organized.

What makes a Research Question Essential?


Research requires a clear focus and purpose. With a well-developed research question, you can focus your collection on a clear path towards the research development and writing process.

A well-developed research question offers specificity and flexibility, as well. From a general approach, all research questions should be:

  • Specific enough to receive thorough answers.
  • Focused on a single issue/problem.
  • Practicable to answer within a specified timeframe.
  • Relevant to your area of specialization.
  • Supported with primary and/or secondary sources

Steps to Forming a Research Question.


In the process of doing research, the concept of the research question is to guide your reading and  infromation collection process.  To get started,

  • Select a General Topic that suits your Interest. Once you are genuinely interested in research, it becomes easier to develop more concepts, ideas, and questions towards learning more.
  • Perform Preliminary Research on Selected Topic. A few searches on related works to your topic would help fine-tune your focus and study area.
  • Define your Audience. Every research question can be informed by a target audience, which helps define the depth your response
  • Start asking the “What,” “Why,” And “How” questions. Consider the above points, then start with open-ended questions using what, how, and why to improve them.
  • Evaluate Every Answer: After every response, evaluate them and compose what would be useful for your research questions. Also, revise and refine them to suit your audience.

With so many resources and so much data available today, forming a research question requires clarity to get effective results for your research. Having enough research questions would cover the possible paths to solving your challenges with fewer troubles.

For more extensive research projects, it becomes necessary to have multiple research questions that help you to clearly connect and focus your research ideas.

Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur whoteaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence related topics.  Buddy currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida. Still Massive Boost to Research Works

In research, while finding an area of interest is generally the first step, the next step is doing in-depth search for related literature and research gaps.   Fortunately, there are several search resources available today., launched in September 2008, offers an abundance of resources for researches.

What does offer? is a web platform offering commercial social networking for academics. The web platform permits users to create profiles, upload research work(s), and pick interest areas. Academia users can also browse through the platform to view other research works and connect with individuals who share similar interests.

Early in 2019, recorded over 39 million unique visitors monthly and over 21 million uploaded texts. Recently, claims to feature over 108 million Academics and Researchers.

How can help with open-source efforts and research? offers the most straightforward approach to sharing papers with millions of interested individuals across the globe. Although not an open access repository, the free platform can provide researchers with access to share papers, monitor impact, and follow other research topics in selected fields.

A recent study shows papers uploaded in get a 69% increase in citations over five years. The platform remains a fantastic resource for Ph.D. candidates, professors, researchers, and scholars, who seek to find and share academic work to a broader audience. offers several benefits in terms of education, knowledge, and learning. Some key benefits include:

An Incredibly Large Research Depository and User Base.

The platform offers a massive database for research papers, connecting over 100 million users. Due to the incredibly large volume of users, it is likey your research will recieve significant attention, resulting in more feedback and recomendations for you work.

Provides Researchers an Open Publication Platform.

New and old Researchers can publish on the platform, thus providing a meeting point for everyone in the academic community. Several publications are made accessible for other users, enabling you to learn what others in your area of research ar writing about.

In Conclusion. is a top search resource for individuals seeking to find information to suit a variety of academic demands. It also allows the user to publish and showcase personal publications. Several top scholarly works have been on display over time, and the social network feature enables collaboration that can really boost your research efforts.  This, and many other reasons are why we chose as one of our top platforms for academic research.


Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur who teaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence related topics.  Buddy currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida.

Big Red Directory Offering AI-backed Directory for the Future

The world population, according to the UN published data, is expected to hit a limit of 9.7 billion in 2050. This analysis also predicts close to 70% of the world’s populace will fit into several urban cities accommodating almost 10 million people. As the number rises, so do the challenges encountered with regards to providing energy resources and environmental data.

Fortunately, some businesses are building capabilities today to deal with these challenges and the advent of AI has significantly enhanced their efforts.  One of the resources available today is the AL-enabled platform Big Red Directory.


The Big Red Directory

The Big Red Directory employs state-of-the-art AI to surf the web for new data, self-update its contents, and make additions to its database. The Big Red Directory also provides access to several new data, including addresses, phone numbers, opening times of local businesses, and much more. It is not only in the US, Big Red Data also provides this information for other countries like the United Kingdom (UK).  The UK data set includes business opening hours, address maps, and reviews for cinemas, hotels, pubs, restaurants, shops, supermarkets, takeaways, and more.

The use of a technological advancement like Artificial Intelligence aids the platform to offer a new experience that is helpful to researchers seeking new data and expertise. Furthermore, the approach taken by the Big Red Directory enhances day-to-day regulation on accessing data making it easier to navigate and more secure.

What does the ‘Big Red Directory’ offer?

The concept of ‘Big Red Directory’ is a better approach to managing and consolidating information and technologies that enhance our ability to research data from a variety of directories. This modern approach also provides access to Artificial Intelligence backed data that offers the potential of addressing critical challenges like energy crises, healthcare, traffic management, and many other issues.

Designed by Oxford Information Services, the ‘Big Red Directory’ has witnessed significant growth over time, with expansion in data from other countries like New Zealand and the US. Presently the platform hosts several venue categories which include information about cinemas, pubs, restaurants, public resources, and more.

In using this service, researchers can expand into new and emerging categories as urbanization continues to expand across the globe.  As a research professional, we encourage you to check this exciting new technology out and see how the Big Red Directory might help enhance your efforts.

Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur whoteaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence related topics.  Buddy currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida.

Twitter Advanced Search for Businesses and Marketers

Every second, an overall average of 6,000+ tweets are sent on Twitter, translating to over 500 million tweets daily! Twitter remains a fantastic app, and it allows search for every single tweet. There are quite a few different approaches to searching on Twitter. These approaches include Twitter’s toolbar for a search field, the mobile app searches, the web search page, and more.

All these selections are valuable for quick search into specific hashtag/topic. But to get the most value from the Twitter search, the Twitter Advanced Search offers a powerful resource.

For business owners and marketers, Twitter Advanced Search is considered a goldmine.  With this tool, businesses and marketers can gain access to several different approaches to filter, search, and segment Twitter’s massive data.

Twitter Advanced Search in Business Analysis.

Similar to monitoring brand sentiment, Twitter Advanced Search can provide businesses and marketers the power to keep tabs on several key factors ranging from customer engagement to sales and product vision. The Advanced Search tool also offers analysis on competitors and customer’s views. Below are other benefits of Twitter Advanced Search in Business Analysis:

Explore the Competitor’s Tweets.

The use of Advanced Search allows you to filter through tweets from competitors, as well as search for trending keywords or selected keywords.

Fine-Tune Search.

With the worlds fast-moving trends, Twitter Advanced Search makes it fairly simple to keep up with great content. You can easily filter Tweets and view engagements generated by tweets on subjects you find useful.  Most Boolean logic can be applied to Twitter advanced searches so take some time to try a few different queries.  Identifying key influencers who might be the ideal ambassador for your brand are worth following and paying attention to for ideas.

Find Interesting or related Ideas.

Twitter remains a good source for interesting content that might enhance your marketing efforts.  Figure out who your competitors are and spend some time analyzing their twitter activity as well.  With a tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, you can build customized private lists to track your competition.

Finding Details.

With Twitter Advanced Search, you can find accounts based on the keyword(s) and location. This amazingly powerful resource lets you locate accounts or businesses within specific areas.

Search Things to Help Business Growth.

To drive growth on twitter, it is preferable to do a search based on things engaging to your potential customers. The Twitter search takes a little different approach from Google Search. With Twitter Advanced Search, you can easily understand which keywords attract more attention.

Do you consider Twitter an important platform for your business? There are several more tips and tricks to really help you enhance your brand visibility and growth on twitter, which would, in time, increase your marketing and sales capacity. The use of Twitter Advanced Search is very much valuable, and we can help your brand gain more.

Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur who teaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence related topics.  Buddy currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida.

The Library of Congress: A Digital Approach to Online Libraries and Resources

Are there several information gaps in your research? Do you need assistance filling those gaps? Well, help is available with the use of online support provided by the Library of Congress. The advanced search platform allows researchers users to ask a librarian for help. If you have specific questions with no readily available answers, the digital Library offers online chat during off-peak hours. Other requests can be forwarded using the online form available on the platform.


What does the Library of Congress offer?

The Library of Congress is currently the most extensive Library on earth, with millions of books, newspapers, maps, manuscripts, photographs, and recordings within its collections. The Library stands as the primary research arm of the United States Congress and Copyright Office.

Only a small percentage of the books available in the Library’s physical collections are digitally available through its website. As of 2016, a large number of digitized books available through the Library contain roughly 136,000 books from its General Collections scanned through Internet Archive.

Nevertheless, additional titles running into several thousand have been added. The Library conserves and offers access to a diverse, enduring, and abundant source for resources valuable to research works. So, if you seek to engage, inform, and inspire your intellectual and creative endeavors, the Library of Congress remains a noteworthy source for researchers and world-class data.


How the Library of Congress Help with Open-Source Efforts and Research.

The informal approach to searching for digital or electronic books (e-books) available is through the Library’s website. There is a Search Books page which offers keyword search and returns a different list of digitized texts available on the Library.

Researchers and other users also have the option of refining results to help narrow down searches. Additionally, users can search across or within specific digitized Library collections.

Another convenient option available to users in terms of locating other contemporary works is through contacting the local public Library. The Library assists with e-book service that is easily downloadable on PCs. They are available in several formats, including DAISY, DJVU, ePub, Mobi, PDF, and text (.txt).

If a book or resource is not available by electronic means or in print format, users can easily connect through an interlibrary loan request to access an available print edition from other libraries.


Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur who teaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence related topics.  Buddy currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida.

The Benefits Of Live Streams

The concept of live streams with webcams has been around since early 2000. Although live streams at the time do not come with present-day quality, it still had the potential to offer much more, and users globally are starting to realize its potential. Several users today desire fast streaming solutions, even with the growing popularity of several video services.

But there are several reasons why live streams often offer great success, especially in rewarding and informing users. Do you seek a wider audience? This question and more are amongst several things offered by live streams.

The use of live stream platforms is gradually becoming more popular in recent times and is seeing extensive utilization by several users. There are several benefits attached to using live streams. Below are the top benefits of using Live Stream platforms.

Increasing your Outreach.

Amongst the significant benefits of live streams platform is the provision of increased outreach for its users. Your broadcast could be any event, locations, beaches, cities, countries, parks, and more. These platforms offer no physical restrictions and allow viewing access to a large number of audiences. With the use of stable internet connectivity, users can get access to several live streams using webcams.

Connecting With Multiple Audiences.

Multiple audience participation is a vital part of live stream platforms, as several events are better viewed live. The use of live streams offers a great approach to making in-depth discussions as well as gaining clarity from various ideas raised. The online audience usually maintains continuous engagement with streams they consider useful. It also creates a sense of community amongst the multiple viewers.

Create Unique Contents.

Through the regular contents available on live stream platforms, users can create streaming content to help generate awareness alongside engagement amongst other users. From the start to the end of any stream, users can populate such platforms with promotions or upcoming events.

Live streams still have so much potential to offer, and with the continuous use of these platforms’ users get to reach a wider audience, connect with more users, as well as provide more engaging content.

About Pictomo

If you are considering using a live stream platform, Pictimo offers users a platform to watch the world. Users get to view live streaming webcams globally. The platform also provides additional new online indoor and outdoor cams that offer views of beaches, cities, countries, and parks. Users are also allowed to add cams as well.

Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur whoteaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence related topics.  Buddy currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida.

The Applications Of Forensic Imaging

Forensic imaging plays a vital role in computer forensics, with significant application in computer-aided analysis and investigative techniques. Forensic images come in bit-by-bit, sector-by-sector alongside other necessary details.

Forensic images comprise visible files in the operating system as well as deleted files. The applications and analysis of forensic photos can be performed via specialized software. The use of imaging utilities is also considered helpful in handling forensic requests.

In cases requiring forensic imaging, additional evidence from such analysis can serve as useful data in unraveling a variety of patterns. Another notable benefit of the forensic image is it helps prevent loss of critical data when backed up properly.

Benefits of the Analysis Process Offered by Digital Imaging Forensic.

The growing usage of electronic devices and its features has been an influence in developing suitable digital forensics analysis. The forensic image plays a significant role responsible for certifying certainty in the use of digital images intended for investigation and legal research.

The forensic analysis provided for digital images is gradually becoming a more critical process in the determination of the authenticity and originality of photographs. Such features allow the user to make several selections with different terms to suit different use cases.

The use of digital images and forensic analysis is also beneficial in defining the authenticity and origin of an image as well as offering useful information like device, event, place, and more. But with the increasing sophistication following image manipulation tools, such process may be challenging to identify.

With several interests and characteristics to look out for, several techniques are applied to forensic analysis. These techniques help define photograph details as well as other detailed contents.

Get digital photo forensics with FotoForensics

FotoForensics offers promising researchers and specialized investigators the ability to apply cutting-edge tools towards forensics for digital photographs. FotoForensics make use of several algorithms to aid users determine if a picture is computer-generated, modified, or real.
With algorithms like Error Level Analysis (ELA), FotoForensics is providing millions of users photo forensics tools for several analyses.

Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur whoteaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence related topics.  Buddy currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida.

Mind Maps: The Concept of Mind Maps

Mind Maps are tools for the brain, which captures the thinking process inside the head. The Mind mapping process aids in thinking, creating ideas, collective knowledge, and remembering. Using mind maps would likely help you become a better thinker.

It may be a little tasking to decide on the number of mind maps to use – the truth is each mind map should assist in clarifying your thinking process. The brain is always thinking of several concepts most times, and it could be any idea(s) – anything, really.

Benefits and Uses of Mind Maps.

Some significant benefits of mind maps include:

  • Enhanced creativity and linear thinking
  • Jogging your memory.
  • Improving your thinking skills.

Also, some significant uses of mind maps include:

  • Brainstorming and Planning.
  • Note-taking, Studying, and memorization.
  • Problem-solving, Researching and Consolidating data.
  • Presenting information, Gaining insight on complex matters.

Mind Map: How to Draw.

To draw a mind map entails a straightforward process. These processes include:

  • Open a blank page could be a paper or drawing tool.
  • Start from the middle of the page and draw or write down the idea you which to develop. Preferably having the landscape orientation for the page you plan to use.
  • Identify and Connect the related subtopics towards the central idea. The connection should be connected to the central idea with a line.
  • Repeat a similar process for other subtopics.
  • Go further by identifying other lower-level subtopics. Also, connect these lower-level subtopics with the corresponding subtopic with lines as well.

Essential Basics to Creating Mind Maps.

Mind maps can be created using several approaches, but they share similar basics. These basics include

  • Central Theme: Located at the center carries a key title or subject concerning the ideas to be developed.
  • Associations: Associations radiate from the central theme. It serves as a direction from the central theme to first level associations, second-level associations, and more.
  • Curved Lines: The associations are often linked with curved lines.
  • Keywords: Mind maps make use of crucial information called “keywords” that summarize concepts for creativity and clarity.
  • Proximity: Indicates the word length to ideally match the length of the curved line.
  • Color and Images: The usage of color helps the imagination and learning process. This approach is also similar to its use in mind maps.

Mind maps are fascinating and always exciting to use. The concept of a mind map can serve as a vigorous drive towards enhancing creativity and several learning ideas. With more explorations, users can do a lot more while learning and creating the next big plan.

To create Fascinating Mind Maps, GitMind delivers your Mind Maps to Life. GitMind is optimized to serve several users, including designers, engineers, writers, professors, and more, who seek to use mind maps in brainstorming a variety of concepts. Connect with GitMind today to create endless ideas and thoughts towards solving problems and attaining meaningful goals!

Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur whoteaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence related topics.  Buddy currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida.

Grey Literature: What It Is and How It Is Used for Research

An essential part of any research is finding useful resources to support or improve your findings. And as we all know, research methods offer processes, strategies, and procedures for collecting data and evidence. As a part of your resarch, have you ever considered Grey Literature?  In this article, we will discuss Grey Literature and how it might assist your current research efforts.

What Is Grey Literature?

Grey literature is data created outside of traditional publication and distribution networks. It can also include any literature publication not published via conventional methods. Grey literature may consist of research that is not easy to find or provides varying or incomplete bibliographical data.

It can include government documents, newsletters, reports, speeches, white papers, working papers, urban plans, and more.

The information contained is usually produced by organizations (like agencies, government bodies, NGOs, etc.) to store data, news, and report on activities for future use or distribution without any delays or limitations encountered with traditional publishing methods.

Similarly, some grey literature may be more up-to-date than literature in scholarly publications. However, keep in mind that since grey literature does not go through the process of peer reviews, the quality may vary.

How to Use Grey Literature?

There are several approaches to using Grey literature and the following features may significantly enhance your research efforts:

  • Identification of evidence relevant to your research questions, challenges, and systematic reviews.
  • Provision data not easily found within published literature.
  • Reduction of publication bias.
  • Increase reviews’ exhaustiveness as well as timeliness and that foster a balanced picture of available evidence.

Grey literature can serve different audiences and comes in diverse formats that may require the use of systematic search. A careful search strategy may also require the use of the narrative review and systematic review to provide much more beneficial results. Several platforms offer an open-source repository for grey literature with the inclusion of analysis and sources.


GreyGuide is the leading web platform and resource repository for grey literature. The platform provides information for practitioners, professionals, and students seeking common ground for effective use of resources in grey literature.

The GreyGuide platform offers a variety of shared documents, affiliate repositories links, and other web-based content. Also, collections within the Repository of GreyGuide are now accessible via collective search and browse capabilities alongside metadata.

GreyGuide further seeks to capture published works to handle the demand and supply side of grey literature. GreyNet and ISTI-CNR wee created GreyGuide in 2013. And further development on the platform has continued over time.

Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur whoteaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence related topics.  Buddy currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida.

1 2 3 4