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Visualizing Graph Data by Corey L. Lanum

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Chapter 7. How to organize a chart

This chapter covers

  • Layouts and why they’re important
  • The force-directed layout variants and when they’re helpful
  • Other useful layouts for specific data structures
  • The drawbacks of 3D rendering

Unlike many other data visualizations, in a graph visualization the actual location of nodes on the screen has no inherent meaning. Nothing is different about a node that’s located at the upper-left corner of the screen versus one at the bottom right. This is in stark contrast to something like an XY scatter plot where the location of the item on a Cartesian plane tells you the value of specific properties of that item. In node-link-style graph visualizations, the location of the node is determined by convenience ...

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