5 articles Tag diagram

Visualizing connectivity of airports during Eyjafjallajökull eruption

Eyjafjalljökull2 The Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics department at Northwestern University hosts several research projects that deal with complex networks. One of these projects deals with the effect of the ash cloud covering Europe in April 2010 for several days. The reaearch group tried to shed light on the question in what way the event has changed the structure of the complex network that is formed by the flight connections by all the airports around the world. The way they did this was not by looking at the overall topology of the network, but rather by looking at single nodes, the different airports, and calculating their shortest-path length before and after the eruption. The shortest path doesn’t describe the geographical distance between two airports, but rather the connectivity between them. So the more flights occur between two airports, the shorter is its path.

These calculations are shown in a special kind of circular before-after diagrams with one particular airport in the centre of a red circle surrounded by dots that represent all the airports that are connected. It is not clear what exactly the red circle describes. According to the website it is the “approximate distance of the world from Atlanta”. However, it is clearly some kind of threshold. Looking at Atlanta airport before the event we can see that there are several airports within the red circle, mostly North-American, but also some big others like Frankfurt, London or Hongkong. After the event, however, these have been pushed out of the circle, while in general most of the other nodes have been pushed further away from the circle, thus increasing their shortest-path length.

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The Power Rank


The Power Rank is a visualization of the chances of winning for all the basketball teams participating in the NCAA Tournament. The teams are organized around a circle grouped by the region they are from. In the center of the circle you can see all the games of the tournament represented by dots. These are connected to the different teams that could possibly take part in the game. When hovering over these dots, the teams get highlighted  and the probability of being the winner of this particular game is shown at the team’s label with a percentage value. You can also hover over particular teams to show what the corresponding chances of winning are in the different games leading to the final (which is the dot in the middle).

This visualization is rather uncommon in that it shows a hierarchy in the middle of the circle with a treelike structure. Of course this is a visualization that can handle only a certain amount of data because the space is limited by the circle.

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splunk_dashboard 2 splunk_dashboard

Splunk is a general tool for analysing data in huge IT infrastructures. It consists of different tools that can be utilized in different contexts. With the “Splunk App for Enterprise Security” potential threats and security incidents can be observed, analysed and classified. Users of the app are presented with a web dashboard that visualizes different aspects of the network.

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The Observatory


The observatory is a Web-App that allows you to view the the economic situation of different countries by applying different visualizations to the data and as the creators state: “a tool that allows users to quickly compose a visual narrative about countries and the products they exchange”. The user has the choice between treemaps, network node diagrams, stacked area charts, maps, for example. The user can get an overview about imports and exports of single countries, either by amount in a treemap or by time in a stacked area chart. In a network node diagram it can be observed how products are connected wioth each other. Also, products can be put into focus by showing the total export of a product and how much of the product different countries exported. The interface is a bit clunky, there is no strict information hierarchy, so sometimes you don’t realize what exactly you’re looking at at first glance.

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How States Have Shifted

swing states

With a flow diagram the New York Times shows how the votes of the different states in the USA changed from one presidential election to the other. By hovering over single states their flow is highlighted while the other states are grayed out. The x-scale describes how many percent of the votes were gained or lost for a party in one election, so if there was a big change, the lines literally “swing”. The thickness of the lines is proportional to the number of electoral votes one state has.

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