Visualising Complexity

For those interested in visualisation of complex information, or the visual power of mapping networks, here’s a wonderful resource unearthed by my iKMS colleague Kong Heng Sun.

It’s a collaborative enterprise sustained by donations, and it collects a stunning array of representation techniques, including a drawing by one of my favourite information artists, Mark Lombardi, and vivid illustrations of social networks.

Albert Laszlo Barabasi, author of Linked, also has a gallery page including other network images, including a whole range of internet maps… beautiful as artefacts, but the gallery itself lacks commentary on what the maps mean.

Both galleries give hyperlinks to the original project sites if you want to pursue them further.

For a different take on what network visualisations can tell us, take a look at this fascinating 2002 project from the Social Media Group at MIT Media Lab (another treasure trove), “Fragmentation of identity through structural holes in email contacts” – unwrapping the various email identities of a recent graduate “Mike”, and how they connect (or don’t connect) to each other.

Back on more practical social network analysis ground, here’s a set of studies by Valdis Krebs, looking at an innovative range of SNA applications, complete with illustrative maps that tell interesting stories.

1 Comment so far

James Robertson

Interesting! I just saw one of Mark Lombardi’s original drawings today, in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Not as polished as the diagram above, but very impressive nonetheless in the flesh.

(It’s funny to fly all the way around the world from Australia to SF, only to comment on a post written in Singapore.)

Cheers, James

Posted on April 23, 2006 at 09:41 AM | Comment permalink

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