More Facebook Visualizations in the Wild

I knew that drawing visualizations of your Facebook friends network was fun, but I didn’t know it could get you published!

This Facebook network visualization was published in the Journal of Social Structure Visualization Symposium.  As the author states, this visualization has some nice features:

  • The angle of each wing is proportionate to its share of the network. Thus 25 percent of nodes go from 0 to 90º.
  • Partitions are distinguished by their position rather than a node’s color or shape.
  • The tail indicates the periphery of each partition. A wing with many tail nodes indicates many people who are only tied to other group members.
  • Edges crossing the center show between-partition connections. Since nodes are sorted by degree it is easy to see if edges originate from the most highly connected nodes or the entire partition.
  • In this network it is easy to see a strong series of linkages between high school and university as well as high school and family. There are many ties between the current co-workers and professional colleagues, and neither connects substantially to high school. While just as populous, the professional partition is far less dense than the high school partition.

    This visualization is oriented towards well-connected modular networks (meaning they are easily partitioned into distinct communities). Facebook egocentered networks often have these properties, whereby each partition represents a life course stage or social context and close friends link between partitions.

    This graph was generated using NodeXL, and Excel based network tool