The last years have seen the rise of an impressive collection of graph computation frameworks backed by major players like Facebook or Google. These technologies are empowering a new generation of developers with graph algorithms. But what about business users? A few data visualisation solutions aim to make it easier for them to explore and visualize graphs.
Developers looking for a graph visualization library now have many options to choose from. D3.js is widely used in the infoviz community and can also display graphs. Sigma.js, VivaGraph.js or Alchemy.js are open-source libraries designed especially for graph visualization. They can provide better interactivity, better performances or be easier to use. Cambridge Intelligence offers Keylines, a more advanced library that comes with a commercial license. Tom Sawyer Software sells a collection of software development kits for graph visualization and analysis. Its products are used by established companies like NASA and Oracle. It is compatible with ActiveX, C++, Java, and .NET.
These different libraries are used to bring a data visualization component in software project. It makes it easier for business users and data scientists alike to interact and understand graph data. Graph visualization is bringing “graph thinking” to the masses.
Gephi has played a key role in this process. It is an open-source graph visualization solution that packs a powerful set of SNA algorithms and visualization options. Used by a wide community of scientists and data scientists, it had been dubbed the “Photoshop for graphs”. Another graph visualization solution is Cytoscape. Mostly used by biologists at first, it has progressively evolved in a more general platform for complex network analysis and visualization. Gephi and Cytoscape are desktop-based.
Graph visualization is going beyond the world of scientists. At Linkurious, we are building a commercial solution that aims to democratize graph visualization. The interface of our application is designed for the interactive exploration of large graphs and comes directly with features common in traditional business intelligence applications (security, user management, etc).
Lastly Lab41, the company tasked with helping the US intelligence community tackle big data has built Dendrite. Dendrite is an open-source solution that mashes up other graph technologies (Titan, GraphLab) in one solution to analyze and manipulate large graphs.