Since I have started to play around with the latest (and really great, easy to use) version of the gephi graph visualization and analysis platform, I have developed an obsession to build .gdf output (.gdf is a graph description format that you can open with gephi) into everything I come across. The latest addition is a Facebook application called netvizz that creates a .gdf file describing either your personal network or the groups you are a member of.

There are of course many applications that let you visualize your network directly in Facebook but by being able to download a file, you can choose your own visualization tool, play around with it, select and parameter layout algorithms, change colors and sizes, rearrange by hand, and so forth. Toolkits like gephi are just so much more powerful than Flash toys…

my puny facebook network - gephi can process much larger graphs

my puny facebook network - gephi can process much larger graphs

What’s rather striking about these Facebook networks is how much the shape is connected to physical and social mobility. If you look at my network, you can easily see the Klagenfurt (my hometown) cluster to the very right, my studies in Vienna in the middle, and my French universe on the left. The small grape on the top left documents two semesters of teaching at the American University of Paris…

Update: v0.2 of netvizz is out, allowing you to add some data for each profile. Next up is GraphML and Mondrian file support, more data for profiles, etc…

Update 2: netvizz currently only works with http and not https. I will try to move the app to a different server ASAP.

Post filed under social networks, softwareproject.

34 Comments

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for using Gephi 🙂
    A direct social network import will be developed in Gephi on the occasion of the Google Summer of Code 2010 (see http://wiki.gephi.org/index.php/Google_Summer_Of_Code_2010). We are looking for a talented student able to code the Java connector: one would be able to browse his social network in real time.

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  3. Hi Sebastien,

    This is very cool! I’m not sure however how easy it’s going to be to replicate Facebook’s rather intricate authentification mechanism in Java. If I come across somebody qualified I refer them to you… Good luck!

  4. Mathieu Bastian says:

    Hi,

    In Gephi, you can try “Modularity” algorithm to detect communities:
    1. Go to Statistics module and “Modularity”
    2. Check Randomize option when asked and click on Run
    3. When finished go to “Partition” module, click on the green refresh button
    4. Select “Modularity Class”, that is the result of the algorithm
    You can color your clusters, right-click on Partition module (in the blank area) and select “Randomize color” to change colors.

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  6. Do Netvizz work for fanpage and fans ?

  7. hi, I’m currently looking into it, but it seems the API doesn’t provide the info…

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  9. Nice work!

  10. Thank you for doing this graph, and thank you for writing about it. I’ve done the same. It taught a few surprising things. Gephi makes much more sense now.

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  12. Awesome tool buy, could you please make it let you download the work its done if it fails (session or max execution time) or release source please?
    I got up to 2k users and NOOOO!!!!!!!! a few times now

  13. Great project! Groups feature doesn’t work for me using netvizz v0.3. I get the following error message:
    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /var/www/fbapi/netvizz/index.php on line 91

  14. Oh man, that is cool! it’s amazing to see how different parts of our lives are “catalogued” or can be “mapped” based on the contacts and friends that we accrue. I’m sure a similar-looking graph would result in anyone who wasn’t a nomad. Neat-o.

  15. Great work!

    I have two profiles on Facebook – one that’s more related to my professional life, and one that’s more personal. When I visualized both graphs, the personal one had a similar topology to yours, however, the professional one had four distinct communities centered around the personal profile (I befriended myself on Facebook 🙂

    I don’t know if it’s possible in Facebook API, but maybe you could offer to filter the resulting GDF by contact groups, like this users could actually see how the shape of their graph changes depending on what is visualized. It has very interesting implications when you for exactly can notice how a certain community affects power law distribution in your graph or modularity for example.

    Another feature (but that’s a dangerous one 🙂 is to allow users to query charts of their friends (I saw that unless the user sets otherwise this data is available in Facebook API).

  16. Hey! I have the same problem as David did.

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /var/www/fbapi/netvizz/index.php on line 91

    Do you have any idea how to fix this? Thank you!

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  18. Could you provide the source code ? would be a great help in for me in building an app where people could add missing family members like relatives and siblings as nodes. Those people who are not on facebook are added by the user themselves ( happens in case of grandparents or parents) and then your cousins (younger members of family ) who are on facebook can be tagged and whatever info they have added can then be merged to make a bigger family graph.

  19. Got error when tried to download dataset of personal network with all optional checkboxes checked:

    Fatal error: Cannot use string offset as an array in /var/www/fbapi/netvizz/index.php on line 172

    Apparently there’s bit too much of changes in Facebook API’s (or at least friend keeps saying that…).

    Would be nice if you have enough of time to check if it could be fixed in easily or not.

  20. I don’t suppose there is a way to use netvizz to visualise the network of facebook users other than your own???

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  22. why this happened?

    netvizz v0.4

    Fatal error: Uncaught Exception: 18: This API call could not be completed due to resource limits thrown in C:\UniServer\www\facebook\netvizz\src\base_facebook.php on line 708

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  24. Hi! Great post. Anyway, I’m trying to use Nevizz but its page on Facebook does not work. Does it still “exist”? Thank u!

  25. victor blaer says:

    @daniele yeah it still exists but for me it only works with my group connections and not my personal list :/

  26. Hi,

    I tried searching Facebook apps for ‘Netvizz’, but nothing showed up in my searches. Is the app still up? Please say yes and it’s just changed its name, I’m excited to try it out with Gephi.

    Thanks,

    Kombo

  27. @Kombo yes, just click on the link in the post.

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  30. Hi . What way can information about Profile Friends such as age, interests and location with netvizz Extracted ؟

  31. Does anyone know how netvizz works for groups. Even if the group is not created by you you can still get all the network details like people in the group and to who they are connected to.
    How do you go around with the facebook API to get this information?
    Does anyone know?

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