Visualization of the Week: Visualizing your friends' Facebook likes

Tony Hirst's Facebook visualization shows "social interest positioning."

What do your Facebook friends have in common? (Well, other than all being your Facebook friend, of course.) What “likes” do they share?

Tony Hirst, a lecturer in the Department of Communication and Systems at The Open University, built a visualization that shows this connective data. He’s also a written a step-by-step guide on how he constructed the visualization with Google Refine and Gephi.

Sketching common likes amongst my facebook friends

The result is a network diagram of what Hirst’s friends commonly “like.” He notes:

“Rather than returning likes, I could equally have pulled back lists of the movies, music or books they like, their own friends lists (permissions settings allowing), etc, etc, and then generated friends’ interest maps on that basis.”

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  • step-by-step guide on how he constructed the visualization with google refine and gephi

  • @Clement You’re right – Gephi can do much better than that – the visualisation shown was just a preliminary sketch without much attention to detail (the original post was noting the recipe for grabbing data from Facebook using Google Refine rather than focussing on generating a presentation graphic) . Gephi can also generate really pretty SVG graphics (not shown…)