ITunes Music with a RAVE Chord visualization

I took the data from my last post, aggregated up some fields and made a Chord Diagram for it, using RAVE. I was lazy and didn’t do a stellar job on rolling up years, so the year indicated is actually the center of a 4-year span — so 2007 is actually [2005.5, 2009.5] which is a little odd.

No big insights here — podcasts are all recent; alternative music is mostly recent too (Eels and Killers are artists with a large number of songs in my library). Interesting that I didn’t buy a lot of music form around 1999 …

I thought there were more packages that could do chord visualizations, but was only able to find some D3 examples.

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## About workingvis

Visualization is the science of making pictures out of data so that they inform the viewer and allow them to understand the data and take action based on what can be seen. I create new methods of interacting with data using a computer interface and try to understand what tools help people model their data and find patterns and unusual features. I have a background in statistics and statistical graphics, and work with computer scientists as well as statisticians. My particular interests include research into:
* Fundamental methods for interaction with data views
* Statistical methods to improve or motivate visualization design
* The interface between statistical models and statistical graphics
* Visualization of large weighted graphs
* Ways to use knowledge discovery techniques with visualization
Specialties:visualization, research, statistics, statistical modeling, graphics, information visualization, agile development, spatial statistics, time series
Of course the chord diagrams were originally inspired from Circos (or maybe even more generically from circular layouts for network diagrams).

I would be interested to see the VizML specifications to reproduce this (if you are allowed). As you say in your book for the arc diagram (Fig 5.13) it is easiest to think about such diagrams as networks where you specify the nodes and edges and then map the size the line to some numeric value. You can’t currently work it like that in SPSS though, as you can only draw a straight line between nodes. If you could say insert arbitrary control points for Bezier curves you could almost reproduce that type of behavior, but then the coordinate scales have to be numeric, not categorical.

More generally, as a long time user of SPSS, I look forward to seeing the work your doing at IBM being rolled out (either for SPSS or in other products). There are plenty of things I saw in your book that I wish I could do now in SPSS (like smoothing for stacked charts or ellipse glyphs (Fig 7.2)).

In the SPSS formulation of the Grammar of Graphics (VizML) it is pretty much as you say — the lines have to be straight. The new version (RAVE) which is begin rolled out across IBM, has more facilities for non-traditional layouts, which make it much easier to work with. We’re also looking at ways to allow simple user code to be added to modify things. One thing we’ve been considering is a “ShapeBuilder” sort of plug-in which might make it easier for more arbitrary shapes.

Hmmmm, let me think a little more about that.