I’m researching different diagramming methods today. Focussing especially on interactive diagrams of small data sets (20-100 items) using nodes and lines.
example: Plant Classifications
explanation: from Deep Green
in depth:full details
Graphical trees provide an intuitive way to display hierarchically organized information like biological classifications and phylogenies. Unfortunately, however, as static trees incorporate increased information, they become cumbersome and confusing. Hyperbolic trees, which are a dynamic representation of hierarchical structure, are an effective way to display complex trees clearly.
Focusing on one part of the diagram while minimizing the diagram around the peripherey is a powerful tool. The full hyperbolic tree model is geared toward large data sets but aspects of it could be used on a smaller set.
Animated Radial Layout
example: Video in AVI format
There is one center node with other nodes spread out at different fixed levels of orbit at fixed distances from the center. Each node in the set can be moved to the center causing other nodes to move into a new position reflecting their distance from the new center node.
Full explanation: Ka-Ping Yee’s GTV page
Created by Marcos Weskamp the Flickr Graph maps connections between people using Flickr. It looks like a mix of methods used in the Hyperbolic model mentioned above and the Radial layout. Items disappearing from the edge resemble the hyperbolic model while the radial distance seems logically from the other.
They Rule is a diagram using node (each person) and line method and user interaction to assign position. Interesting to note the connections are drawn as you explore the chart, it is not all laid out for you ahead of time. Allowing the user to expand, contract, move and close nodes allows this relatively simple diagram to hold a large amount of content.