social network analysis

Visual Social Network Analysis in R and Gephi Part II

Resuming from last time, I've made some updates to the philosophers' social network including publishing two interactive maps.  Quick introduction: you know that sidebar on wikipedia where it tells you someone was influenced by someone else, linking to them?  These graphs are generated from asking wikipedia for a comprehensive list of every philosopher's influence on every other.  There are some sample-bias issues and data problems I went over in the first part of the series, but overall it's both beautiful and interesting.

Interactive visuals

The first lets you zoom dynamically and makes it easier to see local networks.  When you hover over individual philosophers, those who are not linked to them or from them disappear.  This uses a tool called sigma.js.

Go ahead, click it.

The second lets you...

Visualizing the History of Philosophy as a social network: The Problem with Hegel

How Important is Hegel?!

I was surprised I hadn't seen this graphic at Drunks and Lampposts made with Gephi until a friend posted it on facebook last week.  The original is here, and here's my version:


Graph History of Philosophy

Using a scrape of the data behind wikipedia's sidebar for philosophers, Simon Rapier put together a fantastic visualization of the schools and interconnections among philosophers.  Griffsgraphs followed up by expanding the scrape to the entire network of influencers and influenced on wikipedia.  Both of these are insightful humanities studies in graphs and visualization---even though the algorithm wasn't told which common ideas link Hegel and Marx, it saw that they were similar enough to be grouped together (shown by making them the same color), and that the way Hegel influenced, say, Husserl, was different enough to warrant another school, simply by observing a different group of people followed them.

That's a solid aggregation of a lot of humanities information.  Who knew Skynet's tweed jacket had patches on the elbows?

However, looking at the original graphs on D&L and Griffs, I was struck that...

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