Facebook friends visualization tool for Many Eyes

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Sameer Halai's Facebook Visualization at Many Eyes

I wrote a small Facebook application that scans your friends list and finds how they are related to each other. It prepares the data in a format compatible with Many Eyes. You can visualize this data in Many Eyes to see the connections between your friends.

About the visualization: The people on the left are my high school friends, the dense nodes on the right are my current grad school friends and people on the fringes are college friends and other common friends.

Please head over to http://apps.facebook.com/manyeyes/ and visualize your data. I would love to see what other’s people’s data looks like!

Facebook Many Eyes Visualizer screenshot

This also opens up another interesting dilemma: I accessed information about my friends since I am their friend and they know that I can access it. But I am sure they do not expect me to make a text dump of it and visualize it on a publicly viewable website. I have been thinking hard about my right to do so or their incorrect expectation in this regard. I trust my friends with my information. But if they are not trustworthy, the only thing I can do about that is remove them from my list – this the advice Facebook itself gives to get rid of stalkers and bad wall-posters. I am very interested in hearing from my friends (it’s your data in this visualization) about what they think about this.

[Edit: You might find the following applications interesting as well:

13 thoughts on “Facebook friends visualization tool for Many Eyes

  1. Network crawling is a side-effect of the “application” idea, but i think you need to be careful here. You will have access to this data, but I would recommend that you look for a standard privacy policy template and make one for yourself. This way the users know what to expect, and you cannot / will not be held responsible.

  2. Oh, btw, I would appreciate if my name is removed from any public visualization. You can replace it with a “Noname” string. One idea is to force people to log in to view this visualization, and use *their* access controls to determine what they see.

  3. Well
    There was an anonymizer snippet in it which isn’t complete yet. I am working on a more generic solution to this issue. Your suggestion is good. I will keep you posted.

  4. I’ve been trying to get the Many Eyes Visualizer to work, but it gets to step 1(Calculating, etc.) and stops there. Is there supposed to be a long wait, or is there something wrong? I’m very interested in data visualization, and this seems especially fun!

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