Visualizing Linking to Myself

Earlier today I mused about linking to myself:

Discovering that I refer back to earlier posts as often as I do makes me wish I had a way of visualizing the interconnections between my posts; now that I have the building blocks for this, I’ll see what I can do about this.

Then I remembered that I did some graph visualizing work 10 years ago, as part of the OpenCorporations.org project, that allow inter-corporate of Prince Edward Island corporations to be visualized by generating DOT language files.

So I did the same thing for the 8,110 blog posts I’ve written here since 1999.

I wrote a script to go through each post and extract the links from one ruk.ca post to another ruk.ca post: there were 1201 of them in total.

As a byproduct of the counting, I found the most popular posts (measured by how often I link to them):

  1. Welcome to The Reinventorium (12 links)
  2. Adana Eight Five (10 links)
  3. Akzidenz Grotesk (10 links)
  4. How to Levee (9 links)
  5. The Golding Jobber No. 8: It’s Alive! (7 links)

I then wrote this to a DOT file, and then visualized the DOT file in OmniGraffle, and the result looks like this in the “radial” rendering:

 

Visualization, in OmniGraffile, of the DOT file

It’s hard to do justice to just a dense array of interconnections in such a small space as this, but you can get a sense of the nature of the forest even at this level.

Even less comprehensible, but still interesting, is the “hierarchical” rendering in OmniGraffle:

Hierarchical rendering of DOT file in OmniGraffle

Here’s a detail of that rendering:

Detail of hierarchincal rendering of DOT file

If you want to explore the rendering in more detail, I’ve exported a PDF file that you can zoom in and out of.

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