Kim Rees, sitting in for Nathan Yau at Flowing Data, has been posting examples of network diagrams lately. I have to confess I'm stumped by most of them them. Or maybe I'm just overwhelmed. Maybe I'm not alone:
Network diagrams are notoriously messy. Even a small number of nodes can be overwhelmed by their chaotic placement and relationships. Cody Dunne of HCIL showed off his new work in simplifying these complex structures. In essence, he aggregates leaf nodes into a fan glyph that describes the underlying data in its size, arc, and color. Span nodes are similarly captured into crescent glyphs. The result is an easy to read, high level look at the network. You can easily compare different sections of the network, understand areas that may have been occluded by the lines in a traditional diagram, and see relationships far more quickly.
This seems like the kind of thing that could be useful for news, where we're often trying to understand and illustrate complex relationships. I'll have to find a good dataset to play with.