Visualizing Facebook Data

This section lays down some templates and introduces some good starting points for analyzing and visualizing Facebook data. If you’ve been following along, you now have the basic tools you need to get at anything the platform can provide. The types of exercises we’ll explore in this section include:

  • Visualizing all the mutual friendships in your social network

  • Visualizing the mutual friendships within specific groups and for arbitrary criteria, such as gender

  • Building a simple data-driven game that challenges you to identify friends based on where they live now and their hometowns

The list of possibilities goes on and on, and with the necessary boilerplate intact, you’ll have no trouble customizing the scripts we’ll write to solve a variety of other problems.

Visualizing Your Entire Social Network

This section works through the process of fetching friendship information from your Facebook account and visualizing it in interesting and useful ways, with an angle toward using the JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit (JIT). The JIT offers some great example templates that can easily be customized to whip up an interactive visualization.

Visualizing with RGraphs

An RGraph[58] is a network visualization that organizes the display by laying out nodes in concentric circles, starting from the center. RGraphs are available in many visualization toolkits, including the JIT. It’s worth taking a moment to explore the JIT’s RGraph examples to familiarize yourself with the vast possibilities ...

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