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3D github repository visualiser
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Medusa is a 3D git repository history visualization tool inspired by the famous medusa visualization:

It uses a GPGPU Force Directed Graph simulation to efficiently maintain it's structure.

This package comes with a Node JS server for populating Google Firebase Firestore from the Github API and a frontend client for running the visualization.

medusa visual

Install server dependencies with:

yarn install

Install client dependencies with:

cd client && yarn install

To start the Node server and the frontend client, run this in the root directory:

yarn dev

Firebase Firestore data storage

Medusa relies on data being copied from the Github API to Google Firebase Firestore. You will need to set up a new Firebase Firestore project through your Google Console.

Once this is set up, paste the following into the Firestore Rules:

// Allow read/write access on all documents to any user signed in to the application
service cloud.firestore {
  match /databases/{database}/documents {
    match /{document=**} {
      allow read: if request.auth.uid != null;
      allow write: if request.auth.uid != null;

Following this, you need to enable Anonymous authentication for the Google project. This step is to slow down a potential DDOS attack.

In order to run the Node server you will need to download your Firebase Admin SDK service account key json file and put this in /auth. Add the key filename to /config.js

Local server config

Enter the details of the Github Repository you wish to use in /config.js (these values can also be passed as query strings when running the update script):

const config = {
  GHRepo: 'REPO_NAME',
  GHBranch: 'BRANCH',
  GHOwner: 'OWNER',

Github access token

Create a new Github personal access token: and add this as a Node JS environment variable with the key: TOKEN_GITHUB_DOT_COM

Populating Firebase Firestore

With all of the above configured you should be able to run:

yarn dev

To start populating Firebase Firestore, point your browser to:


If you hit github API rate limiting or the script is stopped for any reason, the script will automatically pick up where it left off. For a production environment as on you can set this script run as a cron job to keep Firebase up to date with the git repository.

It should be noted that each repository branch needs to be added separately.

Google Cloud Function for file click interaction

In order to show details about a file on click you will need to set up a Google Cloud Function to pull data from the Github API. There is an example script and package.json in /client/cloud_functions/

Running the Visualization

The following code will create a new medusa instance:

window.onload = function() {
  if (medusa.canRun()) {
    medusa.init(config).on('ready', function() {


A detailed example implementation can be found in: /client/build/index.html

The following config settings can be passed to the medusa instance. Default values can be found in /client/src/Config.js.

config = {
          git: {
            owner: 'input-output-hk',
            repo: 'cardano-sl',
            branch: 'develop',
            commitHash: '', // hash of commit to load
            commitDate: '', // date to load (YYYY-MM-DD)
            loadLatest: true // load latest commit in db
          display: {
            showUI: true,
            showSidebar: true
          FDG: {
            nodeSpritePath: 'textures/dot.png', // path to node texture
            nodeUpdatedSpritePath: 'textures/dot-concentric.png', // path to node updated state texture
            fontTexturePath: 'textures/UbuntuMono.png', // path to font texture
            autoPlay: false,
            delayAmount: 1000, // time in between new commits being added to the graph
            sphereProject: 0, // project graph onto sphere? 1 == true, 0 == false
            usePicker: false, // show file commit details on click
            pickerLoadingPath: '/assets/images/loading.svg', // show file commit details on click
            sphereRadius: 500, // radius of sphere if in sphere projection mode
            showFilePaths: true, // display filepath overlay on nodes
            colorPalette: [ // colors to use if cycleColors is switched off
          scene: {
            fullScreen: true,
            width: 800,
            height: 600,
            bgColor: 0x121327,
            antialias: false,
            canvasID: 'medusa-stage', // ID of webgl canvas element
            autoRotate: false, // auto rotate camera around target
            autoRotateSpeed: 0.001 // speed of auto rotation
          post: {
            vignette: true
          camera: {
            fov: 45,
            initPos: {x: 0, y: 0, z: 1600},
            enableZoom: true // enable camera zoom on mousewheel/pinch gesture


  • Move frontend data sorting code to webworkers to ensure smooth playback in play mode
  • Add higher visual quality setting for faster machines
  • Use an octree for physics calculations
  • Add UI widgets to expose more information about the repository to the user
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