Command-Line Functions

Many of the functions of followthemoney can be used interactively or in scripts via the command line. Please first refer to the Aleph documentation for an intro to the ftm utility.

Key to understanding the ftm tool is the notion of streams: entities can be transferred between programs and processing steps as a series of JSON objects, one per line. This notion is supported by the related alephclient command, which can serve as a source, and a sink for entity streams, backed by the Aleph API.


The command line sequence below uses shell pipes to a) map data into entities from a database, b) apply a namespace to the entity IDs, c) aggregate entity fragments created by the mapping, and d) export the resulting entity stream into a sequence of CYPHER statements that can be executed on a Neo4J database to generate a property graph:

ftm map companies_from_db.yml | \
    ftm sign -s my_namespace | \
    ftm aggregate | \
    ftm export-cypher -o graph.cypher

Here’s another example that fetches pre-generated entities from a URL and loads them into a local Aleph instance:

export URL=
curl -s $URL | \
    ftm validate | \
    alephclient write-entities -f icij_panama_papers


Please refer to the output of ftm --help for a detailed reference of the ftm CLI:

Usage: ftm [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

  Utility for FollowTheMoney graph data

  --help  Show this message and exit.

  aggregate          Aggregate multiple fragments of entities
  dump-model         Export the current schema model
  export-csv         Export to CSV
  export-cypher      Export to Cypher script
  export-excel       Export to Excel
  export-gexf        Export to GEXF (Gephi) format
  export-neo4j-bulk  Export to Neo4J bulk import
  export-rdf         Export to RDF NTriples
  import-vis         Load a .VIS file and get entities
  map                Execute a mapping file and emit objects
  map-csv            Map CSV data from stdin and emit objects
  pretty             Format a stream of entities to make it readable
  sieve              Filter out parts of entities.
  sign               Apply a HMAC signature to entity IDs
  sorted-aggregate   Aggregate sorted fragments of entities
  validate           Re-parse and validate the given data