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Ideas anyone? [Jan. 25th, 2003|12:00 pm]
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[mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

Using a free graphing library, I threw together a quick and dirty program for visualising your friends neighbourhood. It screen-scrapes userinfo pages to grab lists of friends, and their friends, and then draws them. It's very much a one-hour prototype right now, I wanted to see how it'd look before investing any real time on things like interface or navigation.

I got this far into the prototype, and sort of lost faith because the whole thing is just too dense to get any real information out of. I could make it a little more readable by changing the colour/opacity/z-order of the nodes based on how well-linked they are, but I have a feeling I need something more before this can be a worthwhile toy.

It's fun, though.

Any ideas on how the data could be better visualised? I thought at first that hiding "unimportant" nodes would help, but the outliers (nodes with a single link to them) are the only things that prevent the graph from totally collapsing in on itself. It's not the edges that are the problem, it's the big, honking mess in the middle.


[User Picture]From: skywalker404
2003-01-24 06:41 pm (UTC)
I haven't looked at the code yet, but two thoughts:
  • Use differing colors for nodes (& lines between nodes?) that are friends than for friend-of-friend nodes.
  • Only one line between each node; if they are both listed as friends of each other, then use a diff color, or some other visual method to indicate that.
  • Is there any function that determines the distance each node is supposed to have between the other nodes? If that could be turned up an users with, say, more than 100 [direct] friends, that might help.
  • (Reply) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: skywalker404
    2003-01-24 06:44 pm (UTC)

    I is college student. *grin*

    Er, 3 things.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)