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Does this type of chart have a name? More importantly, is there any visualization library I can use to produce it?

alt text http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2007/12/15/us/politics/DEBATE.html

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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Take a look at Circos:

Circos is a software package for visualizing data and information. It visualizes data in a circular layout — this makes Circos ideal for exploring relationships between objects or positions.

The flowing data blog also had a post on this that you might find interesting:

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@grautur I'd like to add this one too: mkweb.bcgsc.ca/circos/tableviewer –  chl Sep 29 '10 at 7:26
    
@chl: very handy, I hadn't seen it. Thanks for pointing it out! –  ars Sep 30 '10 at 6:08
    
another funny website: visualizing.org –  chl Oct 4 '10 at 20:15

I found that the dependency graph in Flare is also similar to what I want:

http://flare.prefuse.org/apps/dependency_graph

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I would just add:

As you point out, Flare has the dependency graph, which Aleks Jakulin argued was similar but better. This was based originally on the "Hierarchical Edge Bundles: Visualization of Adjacency Relations in Hierarchical Data" (Holden 2006).

I personally prefer to use Protovis to Flare directly, and you can look at Mike Bostock's example of the same graphic. Here is also an example of an Arc Diagram in Protovis, which is very similar but laid out linearly.

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1  
Protovis looks to have been replaced with d3. –  Jarrod Dixon Feb 24 '12 at 3:20

For the #Rstats crowd there are two other options.

circlize library (package, vignette):

This package aims to implement circos layout in R.

enter image description here

RCircos library (CRAN):

RCircos package provides a simple and flexible way to generate Circos 2D track plot images for genomic data visualization.

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Even more options on this SO question. –  radek Nov 17 at 10:53

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