Entities represent real-world objects such as a people, locations, and bank accounts, or they represent events such as meetings.

Each entity has a representation to determine how it is displayed on the chart surface and a type to categorize it. An entity contains properties, which store information about the object or event. For example, a person might have a name, date of birth, and eye color and a meeting might have date, time, and duration.


You can choose how to display entities on your chart surface by using different entity representations, for example icon, event frame, or theme line.

Table 1. Different entity representations.

Entity representations: different ways of displaying entities.

Representation Description
Icon An image or picture.
Theme line A line that is used to represent a key element of an investigation, such as a suspect, or bank account. Theme lines are often used with event frames to represent a sequence of events over time.
Event frame A representation of an occurrence that is used to emphasize date and time information, such as a meeting, or an appointment. Event frames are often used with theme lines.
Circle Typically used for textual intelligence on the chart surface or to indicate an organization or a group visually. A circle is sometimes used to enclose other entities.
Box Typically used to enclose other entities on a chart to indicate an organization or group visually.
Text block Any piece of information. Often used for textual intelligence on the chart surface.
OLE object An object that is created in another application and incorporated into your chart, for example a spreadsheet, word-processor document, video clip, or graphic file.


Each entity has a type to categorize it, for example Person, Bank Account, Meeting, or Vehicle. This type categorization means that you can locate and analyze information more efficiently.

The template that is used to create the chart contains a set of entity types. If you need an alternative entity type, you can create your own by customizing your chart. However, before you create a new entity type, make sure that a suitable one does not exist. You can merge any new entity type that you create back into the standard template.

Entity types have characteristics that define the type such as icon image and name.

Table 2. Analyst's Notebook entity type characteristics.

The different characteristics that each entity type defines.

Characteristic Description
Icon The image that is used on the chart, when the entity is represented as an icon, theme line, or event frame. You can load custom icons into the system for specialized entities.
Name The name that is used to identify the entity type.
Line color For representations that use a border, the color of the line that is used for entities of this type. You can also change the line color on a per entity basis.
Shade color The dominant color of the icon that is used for entities of this type when represented as icons, event frames, or theme lines. You can also change the shade color on a per entity basis, for example, to show if a particular car is red.
Semantic type A category that defines the real-world meaning of data, and therefore defines how applications interpret that data. For example, Person is a semantic type that might be assigned to entity types such as Male, Offender, and Subscriber. You can search for entities that are assigned a Person semantic type. Using this search criteria, Analyst's Notebook finds entities that have an entity type of Male, Offender, Subscriber, and any other types that have the semantic type Person assigned. You can also change the semantic type on a per entity basis.
User palettes The palettes that contain the entity type.