Changing colors in the Red and Blue states
Mar 20th, 2006 by JTJ

The CCA has posted a link to this neat animated GIF showing, state-by-state, the occupant of the White House's approval rating.  This wouldn't be hard for a newspaper to do, and it's  easily updated.

The Changing Red-Blue Map
Published Sunday, March 19, 2006 by CCAer | E-mail this post  

the 2000 and 2004 U. S. presidential elections, the red-blue divide has
frequently been talked about and mapped, so much so that the map has
become ubiquitous on the Internet (see 1, 2, 3 and so on). Radical Wit has posted an animated gif map
of the country showing George Bush’s approval ratings using the same
partisan colours as the election results maps. The map begins with the
2004 election and changes every five seconds to the next month. Maps of
individual maps are also available as static images.

Design and data and presentation of it all
Mar 19th, 2006 by JTJ

Martin Dodge, he of “Mapping Cyberspace” realm, sends along this helpful post:

“Hello, I've just
been browsing through a fascinating new book on maps and spatialisations, many
of networks, info spaces and online conversations.

“It has many interesting
essays and a rich array of illustrations.

“Else/Where: Mapping: New
Cartographies of Networks and Territories edited by Janet Abrams and Peter Hall

And Martin's e-mail took
us, eventually, to The Design Institute at the University of Minnesota.  Drill down in the DI site a bit: a lot of
interesting resources and topics for those of us interested in data, networks,
infographics, user interface, IA, etc.

The Design Institute (DI) develops advanced
research, educational programs and interdisciplinary partnerships to improve
design in the public realm.

Established as one of the University of Minnesota's
Strategic Interdisciplinary Initiatives, with recurring funds from the
Minnesota Legislature, the DI addresses products, systems and environments, as
well as the underlying social processes that bring our everyday material
landscape into being.

The DI is particularly interested in the design
implications of emerging technologies — in the nexus of communications media
and public space.

Looking beyond issues of styling, the Design
Institute regards design as a strategic mode of thinking, a form of conflict
resolution whose tangible outcomes express successful negotiation of diverse
values and interests.

The Design Institute's Fellows program, workshops,
publications and events foster new models for collaboration between diverse
fields of inquiry.

By supporting the development of new prototypes,
and enabling young practitioners to create their next significant work, the DI
champions expanded design choices to enhance citizens' lives, in Minnesota and


Can Network Theory Thwart Terrorists?
Mar 14th, 2006 by JTJ

We should have caught this on Friday, but….

Radden Keefe (The Century Foundation) offers up a good overview of the pros and cons of Social Network Analytis in last Friday's (12 March 2006) edition of The New York Times.  In “Can Network Theory Thwart Terrorists?” he says that “the
intercepts some 650 million communications worldwide every day.”  Well, that's a nice round number, but one so large that we wonder how, for example, to account for basic variables such as the length of call?  (You don't suppose the good folks at the N.S.A. have to wait while the “Please wait.  A service technician will be with you shortly” messages are being replayed for 18 minutes, do we?) 

We think Social Network Analysis is another of those tools in its infancy, but one with (a) great potential and (b) an equally great development curve.

A gallery of network visualizations
Nov 21st, 2005 by Tom Johnson

Just received a reference to this gallery of  network
visualizations.  The site is new to me, but perhaps not to all of

Be sure to drill down in the “About” link for additional riches. 
There are hints of potential here but for the fact that much of the
design is in the ever-so-cool black and gray, which means
it's a chore to extract any meaning.

intends to be a unified resource space for anyone interested in the
visualization of complex networks. The project's main goal is to
leverage a critical understanding of different visualization methods,
across a series of disciplines, as diverse as Biology, Social Networks
or the World Wide Web. I truly hope this space can inspire, motivate
and enlighten any person doing research on this field.

Not all projects shown here are genuine complex networks, in the sense that they aren’t necessarily at the edge of chaos,
or show an irregular and systematic degree of connectivity. However,
the projects that apparently skip this class were chosen for two
important reasons. They either provide advancement in terms of visual
depiction techniques/methods or show conceptual uniqueness and
originality in the choice of a subject. Nevertheless, all projects have
one trait in common: the whole is always more than the sum of its parts.

How it started

The idea for this endeavor started on my second year MFA program at
Parsons School of Design. During this period I conducted extensive
research on the visualization of complex networks, which culminated
with my thesis project Blogviz: Mapping the dynamics of information diffusion in Blogspace.
One thing I found while exploring this area was the lack of an
integrated and extensive resource on this subject. This is the main
reason why this project came to life.

Later on, as a teaching assistant of Information Architecture at Parsons Design+Technology

program, together with Christopher Kirwan, I was able to consolidate
most of this research as part of an independent study. The key chunk of
projects shown here was gathered during this phase. My ultimate goal is
to keep adding new projects to a still undetermined limit.

Interesting new book on SNA
Jun 3rd, 2005 by Tom Johnson

Robert A. Hanneman and Mark Riddle

Introduction to social network methods

Table of contents

About this book

This on-line textbook introduces many of the basics of formal approaches to the analysis of social networks. 
The text relies heavily on the
work of Freeman, Borgatti, and Everett (the authors of the UCINET software package). The materials here, and their
organization, were also very strongly influenced by the text of Wasserman and Faust, and by a graduate seminar
conducted by Professor Phillip Bonacich at UCLA.  Many other users have
also made very helpful comments and suggestions based on the first
version.   Errors and omissions, of course, are the responsibility
of the authors.

You are invited to use and redistribute this text freely
— but please acknowledge the source.

Robert A. and Mark Riddle.  2005.  Introduction to social network
  Riverside, CA:  University of California, Riverside (
published in digital form at

Table of contents:

Social network data
Why formal methods?
Using graphs to represent social relations
Working with Netdraw to visualize graphs
Using matrices to represent social relations
6.    Working with network data
7.    Connection
8.    Embedding
9.    Ego networks
10.  Centrality and power
11.  Cliques and sub-groups
12.  Positions and roles: The idea of equivalence
13.  Measures of similarity and structural equivalence
14.  Automorphic equivalence
15.  Regular equivalence
16.  Multiplex networks
17. Two-mode networks
18.  Some statistical tools
After word



Snippets from this week’s IRE convention in Denver….
Jun 3rd, 2005 by Tom Johnson

Paul Walmsley, a programming wiz at IRE, has developed a
neat PERL script for doing a bit of Social Network Analysis online at the IRE

JustLooking” is a members-only tool that has been up for a
year, Walmsley said, but lacking publicity, it’s been pretty much
backstage.  The app is a relatively
basic, yet impressive tool whose results are designed to be integrated/imported
into UCInet, an early SNA tool.

“JustLooking” comes, so far, with two network templates to
save time in common situations.
  * Campaign Finance:
for tracking campaign dollars
  * Rolodex: for
entering basic networks of people and organizations

 Dig out your IRE membership number and check it out.

LECTURE: The Internet, Epidemics, and Kevin Bacon: The Emerging Science of Networks
Mar 17th, 2005 by Tom Johnson

Santa Fe Inst. Public Lecture

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 • 7:30 PM • James A. Little Theater, Santa Fe, NM

Mark Newman
Professor of Physics and Complex Systems, University of Michigan, Ann
Arbor; External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute

Abstract: There
are networks in almost every part of our lives. Some of them are
familiar and obvious: the Internet, the power grid, the road network.
Others are less obvious but just as important. The patterns of
friendships or acquaintances between people form a social network.
Boards of Directors join together in networks of corporations. The
workings of the body's cells are dictated by a metabolic network of
chemical reactions. In recent years, sociologists, physicists,
biologists, and others have learned how to probe these networks and
uncover their structures, shedding light on the inner workings of
systems ranging from bacteria to the whole of human society. This
lecture looks at some new discoveries regarding networks, how these
discoveries were made, and what they tell us about the way the world

eContent Magazine Review of Anacubis, Social Networking software [JTJ]
Mar 14th, 2005 by JTJ

Reviewer's View: anacubis Desktop is a
novel and sophisticated tool for analyzing data—and connections between
data and data sources—imported from a wide range of sources and file
types, both textual and quantitative. The price is not trivial, and
developing anacubis expertise will require climbing a substantial
learning curve. But the potential rewards are great for analysts and
companies willing to take the long view.

International Network for Social Network Analysis
Mar 14th, 2005 by JTJ

page contains information about the organization,  International Network for
Social Network Analysis and related subjects.

JUNG – Java Universal Network/Graph Framework software
Mar 14th, 2005 by JTJ


JUNG — the Java Universal Network/Graph Framework–is a software
library that provides a common and extendible language for the modeling,
analysis, and visualization of data that can be represented as a graph or
network. It is written in Java, which allows JUNG-based applications to
make use of the extensive built-in capabilities of the Java API, as well
as those of other existing third-party Java libraries.

The JUNG architecture is designed to support a variety of
representations of entities and their relations, such as directed and
undirected graphs, multi-modal graphs, graphs with parallel edges, and
hypergraphs. It provides a mechanism for annotating graphs, entities,
and relations with metadata. This facilitates the creation of analytic
tools for complex data sets that can examine the relations between
entities as well as the metadata attached to each entity and relation.

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