It seems like you understand my suggestion perfectly. This is my situation: I'm getting outside the box in mechanical engineering by trying to use NodeXL to visualize product architectures where the groups are "sub assemblies"/clusters of technical solutions
and the edges are the interfaces that connects them. It's great to be able to show a picture of the sub assemblies but it would also be great if we could visualise the interfaces.
1. What would be an example of an image you might show on top of an edge?
-Snap joint, flanges, bolt pattern etc. In a network deployment it could show communication method like twitter, e-mail, linked-in etc.
2. Would edge images rotate with the edges, or would they always remain upright?
-The most important thing is to get it as clean as possible whereas remain in upright position sounds like the ideal solution.
3. What would happen when an edge is too short to include the entire image? Would the image get cropped? (Today, edge labels get abbreviated with ellipses on short edges.)
-It would be great if the sizes remained stable but the layout option makes sure there is no overlap of images neither label or edge images. I've found tat the Sugiyama layout gives the best helicopter perspective of
the architecture even though it requires some extra hands on.
4. Would edge images be readily distinguishable from vertices? After all, they both have lines emanating from them.
-The edge images should have as little impact of the direction as the label has right now i.e. none and it would be great to be able to set different sizes on the two types of images depending of what the focus lies on
in the project at the moment i.e. on the interfaces or on the sub assemblies.
I hope this clarifies my whishes for the software and I'm glad you that it raised enough interest to put up those questions. It will be interesting to see what happens next.