Customize Polar Graph without coding knowledge?

Apr 10, 2015 at 8:50 PM

I am graphing HR department data and want to create a star polar graph where the head of the department will be in the center, his/her direct reports will be surrounding the center vertex in a circle shape evenly spaced from each other and the center vertex. Each one of those vertices will have its own source vertices surrounding them in another layer, and so on, so that you end up creating a flower looking graph. really powerful for the HR and business leaders to identify strange looking areas of their org.

My question is, how can i automate the vertex placement in node xl? I am not a programmer, but maybe if someone would be willing to walk me through this i could do it... i have to create a ton of these so it'll definitely pay off to spend more time now up front getting the logic built in behind the data so i can just drop in new data for different departments and create this quickly.

i've tried all of the different layouts, groups and clustering and can't find anything that will help me with this. if someone can please be patient and help a beginner i would be so grateful, but if it's coding i am going to need way more step by step help.

thank you!
Apr 10, 2015 at 9:28 PM

Thank you for the interest in NodeXL!

I think you may have some luck by setting the "R" and "Angle" values for the polar layout using Autofill Columns.


NodeXL > Visual Properties > Autofill Columns > Vertices > Vertex Polar R
NodeXL > Visual Properties > Autofill Columns > Vertices > Vertex Polar Angle

The first value is distance from center.

The second value is position around the ring.

If you give each vertex in your data set a pair of values, one for the "management level" the other for the department, the result might be close to what you describe.

I hope this gets you closer to your goal.


Apr 10, 2015 at 10:30 PM

Thanks for the quick response. I tried that and it worked well for the way I described the problem. Only thing is that I am realizing I actually need to do something a little bit different because that isn't giving me the layout that I want. I do have someone that can code in Python or R so maybe coding something wouldn't be out of the quesiton. Let me try to explain the modification I want to make. Instead of each ring of vertices evenly spaced in a circle, I would like to have each source vertex evenly spaced from the other source vertices at that ring layer, forming a fan shape outside of the destination vertex. For example, the center vertex is at Ring 0, Rotation 0. Then there are 8 vertices in Ring 1 distributed evenly in a circle around the ego. Easy. However, now, at Ring 2, let's say some vertices in Ring 1 have 3 source vertices, others have 1, others have 10. I want to have the source vertices in Ring 2 in a fan shape (not overlapping) all directing to their destination vertex at Ring 1. That is why I say, actually evenly spacing the vertices in a circle at ring layers won't work for what I want.

I could spend an hour manually getting these "perfect" but even then I think there has to be a way to either create a formula for this or write a piece of code to get the polar R and angles to auto-populate based on the angle of the destination vertex (so, if the desintation vertex is at 20, let's say, and has 3 sources, one would be at 20, one 30, and one at 10 to form a fan shape). Any thoughts at all on this would be so appreciated.

I have a picture of a sociogram that has what I want to be able to automatically create in NodeXL that I painstakingly manually created in UCINet. Some weird looking white spots because I covered up name labels for privacy reasons since it is internal HR data. Not sure how to insert it though into this message?
Apr 11, 2015 at 5:01 PM

Thanks for the interest in NodeXL!

I am not sure I now understand the nature of your layout goal.

You can only include images in Codeplex by linking to an image hosted on another site.

There is a section of the book about NodeXL that may address your goals:

See page 177-178 of "Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL: Insights from a connected world"


Apr 17, 2015 at 9:17 PM
Thanks marc. I ordered this book on Amazon so am looking forward to learning more.