Importing from Gmail

Dec 7, 2009 at 1:41 AM

A nice feature of NodeXL is its capability of importing email from Outlook; however some people like myself may hope to visualize their emails on Gmail. I struggled a bit and finally managed to do this, and would like to share how I did it.

My environment is Windows XP with Outlook Express. (I've tried Outlook too, but failed to copy emails from remote folders to local)

  1. Setup the outlook express to sync with Gmail through IMAP protocol. Here is how:
  2. The Gmail inbox and other customized folders should appear in the left panel. Now click on one of the Gmail folders.
  3. Select some number of emails from the right panel, right click, and click on "copy to folder".
  4. In the dialog popped out, choose the local inbox (or any other local folders) and click OK. This step may take a while if the number of selected emails is large.
  5. Install Windows Search, or tell it to re-index if it's already installed. The re-indexing should be able to find the newly imported emails. A problem here is that the re-indexing button on Windows Search doesn't always work, maybe due to some sort of caching/buffering. As a result, it may take a while until the newly imported emails can be found by NodeXL.
  6. Now should be able to import those emails to NodeXL.

Hope this helps.

Dec 7, 2009 at 7:54 AM

Thank you for the very useful guide!

Can you share any of the images that you have generated?



Dec 7, 2009 at 8:54 AM
Edited Dec 7, 2009 at 8:57 AM

Good news ! The same thing can be done with Thunderbird.

You must have a specific tool installed first : mboximport enhanced

The addon can be found here :

Export the emails in a specific directory. Use the .eml export format

Use NodeXL Import Email Tool.

Et voilà !




I export some email to the .eml format and told NodeXl where to find them but i am still have the same weird answer :

Dec 7, 2009 at 1:48 PM


Here is a write-up and some images I generated for the Information Visualization course at U of Maryland.

Dec 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM