A great new interactive network viz showing the ties between bills and organizations lobbying U.S. Congress on the topic of immigration reform.
The blog post about it gives their methodology and descriptive analysis. Really great work by Alexander Furnas (research fellow) and Amy Cesal (designer) at Sunlight Foundation!.
Interesting to see strong clustering (visually promoted by the layout algorithm and suppression of some edges to highlight dense cores) into various topic areas with the related bills and industry groups.
Also nice (‘tho not surprising) that it pulls together the Senate and House versions of the bills without being ‘told’ to do so — due to their structural similarity in the lobbying network .
It sounds like the network portion of the viz was done in Gephi, with the interaction done with an export to Sigma.js. Categories assigned using Latent Semantic Indexing of bill text. The zooming and interaction is really fluid, even in Firefox. I think it would be nice if it did some mouseover highlighting of ties to make it easier to follow links to distant cluseters (`tho it does have the ability show only connected ties when you click on a node.).
Definitely one of the most useful visualizations I’ve seen for understanding a complicated topic area!