OSINT Map: A MindMap for Your Investigations

This is a guest post by Steve Hall (https://twitter.com/shall_1). Thanks for writing it Steve!

Update – 2022-03-17

1. Micah updated the MindMap file to version 2. Little less cluttered and more focused. It is in the same GitHub location and called “OSINT_Maps2.xmind
2. I’ve moved from MindMaps to Obsidian for documentation. Check out the blog post https://webbreacher.com/2022/03/15/obsidian/ for details.

I recently attended SANS Denver (SEC487) because I wanted to round out my knowledge on some of the OSINT I had been doing. The class covered multiple tools to help accomplish the task of documenting your process, one of them being mind maps. I was familiar with them as that’s what I had been using prior to the class. During that week of training Micah had shared the early stages of “Your OSINT Graphical Analyzer” or YOGA. I thought this would be great to add to the mind map template. As the class progressed I started to add more and more to the template. I preferred to add it all to a single mind map because it seems the older I get the more I seem to forget, so…after modifying it a bit, sharing it with Micah, then some more modifications, here is the result.

This mind map is  a multi-tabbed map with each tab helping guide through an OSINT process/engagement.


The Goals and Scoping tab is basic information you will want to know before you begin the process of collecting any data. Its a helpful set of questions (lifted straight from the class!) that helps you define your scope. Once your scoping is complete you can click the begin assessment button (which will link you to the OSINT process tab) or just click the next tab labeled OSINT Process.


The OSINT process tab is Micah’s “Your OSINT Graphical Analyzer” in a mind map format. I wanted to have this flow in the same document I used to collect and document the information gathered. If you hover over the notes section it will give you the same examples/labels as Micah has on this site. I have also added hyperlink’s within the mind map to the sites he has listed in YOGA. There are additional links that will take you to third and fourth tab (OSINT Data Collection and Additional Resources).


The Data Collection tab is for adding all your results. After the collection is complete you can export the data into a workable format for any report you may need to provide.


The Additional Resources tab is a collection of resources that you can use to collect additional data. It is in no way a comprehensive list but is a pretty good collection of resources. It has different web resources based on the piece of data you have, collections sites that have additional resources, tools that can help mine more data and flow charts from IntelTechniques.


You can get the mind map at WebBreachers github repository. You will need a MindMap application in order to use it. I use XMind Pro but they have a free version as well. It works on Windows, Linux, and macOS and is pretty full featured.

Hoping this is useful to you. If you have suggestions for changes, let myself or Micah know, or submit a pull request in the github repository.

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