Category Archives: visualization

R and ggPlot

Plotting the Afghan war, via Open Source Tools Turn WikiLeaks Into Illustrated Afghan Meltdown Updated | Danger Room | Wired.com:

It’s one thing to read about individual Taliban attacks in WikiLeaks’ trove of war logs. It’s something quite different to see the bombings and the shootings mount, and watch the insurgency metastasize.

Even more Afghan visualizations thanks to WikiLeaks are available  at Visualizing Data.

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Filed under Analysis Ideas, mapping, visualization

Representing Directionality in Network Visualizations

Guess which link-map representation above is the most efficient for showing directionality? Information Aesthetics blog has an interesting article about the different techniques for showing the “from-” and “to-” of network charts.

Networks are often visualized using points and interconnecting lines, with triangular arrowheads at one or both ends to show any directionality between the different points. Although such a standard arrow representation seems intuitive, it can lead to problems in dense graphs that contain many incoming or outgoing relationships. Furthermore, since the arrowheads often have approximately the same size and aspect ratio as the small circles they connect, the graph as a whole might be perceived as cluttered with so much visual detail to the point of being distracting.

via What is the Best Way to Represent Directionality in Network Visualizations? – information aesthetics.

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Filed under Analysis Ideas, How-To, mapping, visualization

Endless possibilities

How many different user interfaces can you create for something completely banal? Read 1,000 Screens, 1,000 Dreams over on World Famous Design Junkies to see how something as simple and commonplace as scorekeeping for bowling can be complexified endlessly. Dozens of screenshots show the variations that can occur when you need to record a few columns and rows of numbers. What if this data was more complex?

Posts like this make me think that we’re only scratching the surface for Big Data visualization. How many ways can you envision a social network such as a series of cell phone calls? How soon before we transcend the boring lines-and-icons approach?

via World Famous Design Junkies » 1,000 Screens, 1,000 Dreams.

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Filed under Analysis Ideas, visualization

YouTube – Gource – Software Version Control Visualization Tool

Gource – Software Version Control Visualization Tool.

In Gource, software projects are visualized as they break out different branches, and split into different subprojects. Active users fly around zapping each node, representing software updates. The whole visualized node-and-line structure swirls, bends, and bounces like a rubber band.

The best thing about Gourse is the kinetic detail to the visualization, making each structure look like a tree wafting in a breeze.

via YouTube – Gource – Software Version Control Visualization Tool.

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All about the Benjamins: The Growth of Walmart

This visualization only looks like the spreading of a horrible plague. It is instead of the growth of Walmart and Sam’s Clubs throughout the United States. Starting in the relatively quiet 1960’s, Walmart added one or two locations a year. The flow accelerates until in 2010 there are 4393 stores studded across an apocalyptic consumerist landscape.

Watch the Growth of Walmart and Sams Club Across America | FlowingData.

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Introducing News Dots – By Chris Wilson – Slate Magazine

From Slate: News Dots. This little Flash-driven app renders the day’s events as a social network.

Like Kevin Bacon’s co-stars, topics in the news are all connected by degrees of separation. To examine how every story fits together, News Dots visualizes the most recent topics in the news as a giant social network. Subjects—represented by the circles below—are connected to one another if they appear together in at least two stories, and the size of the dot is proportional to the total number of times the subject is mentioned.

Introducing News Dots – By Chris Wilson – Slate Magazine.

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Filed under mapping, visualization, Web tool

Graceful Timelines

We’ve all seen the unreadable timelines created by some analysis software. The hard lines, the veering connections. The mis-sized and aliased fonts. These might be sufficient for experts, but in the fullness of time, other more polished options will arise. Now you can make those veering connections into swooping connections.

The cartoon site XKCD.com did a few timelines for very complicated movie plots (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars trilogy, etc), modeling them after the famous “Napoleon’s Russian Campaign” chart. Sample:

Napoleon in Middle Earth

Anybody who has tried to write a mega-selling spy novel knows that the hardest part about plotting is getting all the interactions and conflicts on one page. Now we have a super online tool to help us do just that.

Introducing cs448b Data Visualizationhttps://graphics.stanford.edu/wikis/cs448b-09-fall/FP-OgievetskyVadim.

See the project description. Here is a sample poster.

The interface for the online tool (which is available here):

Plotting out the latest Mossad exploit? Wanting to show hookups in a crime family? This might be the tool for you. Project creator Vadim Ogievetsky says,

My main goal is to implement an efficient and effective layout algorithm that, with the users help, would generate results similar to the hand crafted images shown above. The layout algorithm will use combinations of genetic algorithms and simulated annealing to achieve the goal.

via FP-OgievetskyVadim – cs448b – Data Visualization.

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Filed under visualization, Web tool