Think of building a model like using a whiteboard to tell the system about the things you care about. Then the system can help you import data, visualize, and find interesting connections. 

The model that was used to create the Getting Started view that you encountered as the homepage of your brand new Studio or City was accomplished with only two types of elements and two types of connections involving them. It looked like this:

You can build your own model in just a few minutes:

  1. Click the "Add" button in the upper left corner of the Model Builder to add a new type of thing to your model.
  2. Click the "Add" button again to add a second type of thing to your model.
  3. Drag a link between the two, and in the form that pops up, enter a word or phrase for how the two types are related.
  4. Keep going to add more types of things to your model and more relationships, as desired.

After you build a starting model, we suggest you start adding some simple data manually right away by just hovering over one element type and clicking the "Add" icon:

By manually entering some starting data this way you'll be able to quickly get a feel for the system and generate a starting network that shows your model in action. Later you can enter data in bulk via spreadsheet import or through crowdsourced contribution.

When you click "Add" to enter data for your first element type, you won't be prompted for more than just the element's name and anything it's connected to:

You can describe your elements in more detail by adding fields to their definition. Hover over the element type and click the "Define" icon:

You can rename and edit fields that are already there by double clicking on them. You can click the "Add" button to add additional field of different types: text, images, video, even document uploads.

As you change your element type's definition, the system will be auto-generating a data entry form for you. Save your new definition and then try to add data again - you'll see a whole new set of options that align with your updated definition:

After you add a few data points to an element type in your model, hover over the element type and click the "View" icon to see the data that you've added:

This will take you to the table-based data view:

If you've got a few element and connection types in your model, and some starting data visible in the table-based view, you're ready to either add more data in bulk or visualize it as a network. 

If you're building a model for the first time, we suggest keeping it very simple. Start by just creating a "starting pair": two element types and one connection type between them. If you want to understand how very simple models can result into quite interesting networks, read the short article Understanding Element Types and then Understanding Connection Types. If you've already built a simple model and want to get more details about refining the fields associated with your element types, read the short article Adding Properties. If you're ready to add data to your model we suggest you start by adding data manually via the auto-generated but highly customizable data-entry collection forms before you perform a bulk upload.