Constellations of documents?

Jul 22, 2009 at 10:53 AM


I'm currently working on a project which involves mapping a hierarchy of guidance documents.  I'm now a couple of weeks in and I already feel that a traditional hierarchy representation will not work (mostly because many of the documents hold an equal 'weight').  This got me thinking and I realised that a much more effective visualisation could be achieved through the creation of a 'constellation' (i.e. the most important - read: the most cited - documents would be the 'largest' whilst all the other (smaller) documents would hold an 'orbit' around these principal texts.

I guess my question is, therefore, you 'you' think that NodeXL would be a suitable tool to create such visualisations?

[NB. as a qualitative social geographer I'm a little over-awed to be 'here' asking this question, but I thought it was worth a shot!]

Thanks H  

Jul 22, 2009 at 4:08 PM
Edited Jul 22, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Thanks for asking!

It is possible that NodeXL could be a useful tool for you.

Can you get your data into the form?:

Document1, Document2, Read Count Document1, Read Count Document 2

If so, you can certainly get the data to appear as a network with nodes (documents) having a size equal to their Read Count or other calculated network measure (like "degree" which for you is the count of documents referencing a document).

It is great to see people from other disciplines trying out network theory!  Welcome!







Jul 22, 2009 at 4:33 PM
Thanks Marc

I'm still scoping the documents at the moment (I reckon I'll be looking at something like 300 in the end), so hearing that NodeXL 'might' be useful to me is...well, quite exciting actually. I have a clear vision of what I'd like the output to look like, but I think I'll need a bit more time to see what the linkages are before I start inputting into NXL. In other words, I'll definitely be back in a couple of months, I just need to read all the docs first...and then get my head around those instructions of your's (yes, I know they're straightforward, but you're speaking to a technophobe :o) !!!

Best wishes

Jul 22, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Technophobes are always welcome.  A primary design goal of NodeXL is ease of use, and if something about the program isn't obvious, you can always ask about it here.

-- Tony

Jul 23, 2009 at 7:42 AM
Thanks Tony

I may well be taking you [all] up on that offer!

Jul 31, 2009 at 1:43 PM
Right, I've had a play...and NodeXL is exactly what I was after. I'm smiling like a Cheshire cat!!

Thanks to all!!