Check the image below (original here).

I want to create similar graphics (or map of Facebook Algorithmic factory). Which tools are used to generate these graphics?

enter image description here


I followed your link and looked at the base url: https://labs.rs/ which led me to the tools page: https://labs.rs/en/raw-data-documents-tools/

Looking through the tools I thought that RAW Graphs might be promising since I've come across D3.js in the past. So I clicked on it and looked at the gallery page: http://rawgraphs.io/gallery/

My hunch is RAW Graphs is what they actually used to generate the visualizations. I would guess there is a fair amount of learning resources out there for D3.js.

Also, I have not read this, but Data Visualization and Data Driven Design are good topics to look into: https://www.amazon.com/Data-Visualisation-Handbook-Driven-Design/dp/1473912148/

  • I checked their website too. They are definitely using tools like RAW Graphs for their other visualizations. However, for this "Facebook Algorithmic Factory Map", it seems that they are using other tools as well. This map have so many components which can't be contained in single visualization offered by RAW Graphs. One of their team member is also graphic expert, i tried reaching out to him, but couldn't get to him.
    – Harry
    Aug 2 '17 at 4:02
  • That's too bad, but I'm sure if you use those tools as a start, you can search around the online community to find out what other tools they might be using. However, it's also very possible he is using proprietary tools. Can you give me an example of which component you think might be using another tool? Aug 3 '17 at 14:16

There's a class of software which is made for creating charts that describe dependencies between objects, actions and concepts. To find it search for Mind Mapping software.

Flowcharting software has often tools for creating mind maps, too.

Finally all in your example can be drawn with Inkscape, Illustrator or other general purpose vector drawing software, but mind mappers and flowcharters have less to choose form and some good templates so it's easier start with them if you are new in vector graphics.

Mind mappers and flowcharters also can keep automatically the looks consistent if you want to add something into already dense part. In general purpose drawing programs you are 100% in responsibility of even looks.

The following examples are from Open Office Draw (freeware). It is a drawing program that have some flowchart and mindmap drawing tools. Draw has quite well working flexible connectors available. There was no need to redraw the connectors between the shapes when the shapes were moved.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • That's helpful. Can I use softwares like Inkscape, Illustrator to describe the dependencies b/w objects, actions and concepts ? or describe dependencies in Mind Mapping software and then import data into Inkscape, Illustrator?
    – Harry
    Jul 23 '17 at 22:51
  • @Harry Illustrator, Inkscape etc... general purpose drawing programs are tools to draw lines, curves, textboxes, etc... The software doesn't care what your drawing presents. Mind mapping software and flowcharters are not more clever, but their drawing tools are designed for easy creation and editing shapes, textboxes and curved or straight connection lines. Generally mindmappers and flowcharters allow exports that are editable in general purpose drawing programs. But the flexIble connectors easily become ordinary curves. I recommend to do tests by running demos. See an addition to my answer.
    – user287001
    Jul 24 '17 at 0:48

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