[Neo4j] Graph visualization

Keiichiro Ono keiono at gmail.com
Tue Oct 12 20:38:13 CEST 2010

Hi Christopher.

My point is, 3D graph visualization is worth trying (because it's cool
:-) ), but still an open question even for researchers in data
visualization field.  Although this is a hard problem, but I've
already got some use cases.  In general, graph database users wants
visualization not only for visualizing network topology, but also for
layering extra data sets onto the graph.  We can do it in 2D space:


but what happens if data sets are more complex?  Maybe just adding
images to graph nodes is not good enough.  In such cases, 3D
visualization might be an option.  Also, many users are interested in
substructures or relationships between graphs.  We can visualize it in
2D space:


but again, this is not a perfect solution if users want to visualize
layers of networks or want to add edges between modules/subgraphs.
Visualizing layers in 3D space can be helpful in some situations.

So, my conclusion is, 3D graph visualization is a great option if it
can solve any problems we cannot solve in 2D space.  If someone try to
solve any of these problems, I'm really interested in it (and can be a
great opportunity for collaboration).


2010/10/12 Christopher Schmidt <fakod666 at googlemail.com>:
> Kei, you mean the answer (...point, ...insight) is mostly 'no'?
> I hope that it depends on the type of data you want to show. Although
> it is an issue to create layouts in a 3D space that adds some visual
> value (we are only used to use 2D presentations). Maybe the
> possibility to rotate, fly through and live highlight (by changing
> colors etc.) of nodes and assocs can bring this value.
> Christopher
> On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, Keiichiro Ono <keiono at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi.
>> Except small and sparse graph, 3D force-directed/spring model
>> automatic layouts creates big hairball and it is very hard to browse.
>> I've tried igraph and it creates nice 3D visualizations, but in many
>> cases, our users (mostly scientists) say, "it's cool...but what's the
>> point?  Does it give us new insights by extra dimension?"
>> Are there any people working on this fundamental problem?
>> Thanks,
>> Kei
>> 2010/10/12 Alex Averbuch <alex.averbuch at gmail.com>:
>>> Hey,
>>> igraph already supports 3D layouts and makes the vertex coordinates
>>> programmatically accessible. Maybe Jung or something similar (and Java
>>> based) would offer the same functionality?
>>> igraph is written in Python so not the idea solution, but for a proof of
>>> concept you could hardcode the coodinates that igraph gives you. Then once
>>> the actual visualizations are working, work on your own (or integrate with
>>> another library) layout algorithms.
>>> On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 11:34 AM, Christopher Schmidt <
>>> fakod666 at googlemail.com> wrote:
>>>> I think that the most tricky thing will be the algorithm, that places the
>>>> nodes and associations in a 3D space.
>>>> Christopher
>>>> Am 2010 10 12 11:08 schrieb "Andreas Kollegger" <
>>>> andreas.kollegger at neotechnology.com>:
>>>> That would be super cool. 3D could be beautiful, and possibly allow more
>>>> interesting visualizations of a graph. In addition to an overview of the
>>>> "scene", it would be fun to play with 1st person and 3rd person views of
>>>> the
>>>> current node.
>>>> What would be an easy proof-of-concept?
>>>> /Andreas
>>>> On Oct 12, 2010, at 1:19 AM, Andrew Andkjar wrote:
>>>> > I have not seen one in my Internet travels, h...
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>> Keiichiro Ono    http://www.keiono.net/
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> Christopher
> twitter: @fakod
> blog: http://blog.fakod.eu
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Keiichiro Ono    http://www.keiono.net/

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