[ddj] Fwd: [Scoda-dev] Network analysis of landgrabbing data

Michael Hörz hoerz at michael-hoerz.de
Mon Dec 10 10:12:59 UTC 2012

Hi Tom,

if you're using Microsoft Excel 2007 or 2010, you might want to try out the free template NodeXL (http://nodexl.codeplex.com/). It basically offers you looking at network graphs directly in Excel.

Best regards

Michael Hörz
Digitaler Journalism

am Mittwoch, 5. Dezember 2012 um 16:02 schrieb List Journalism.:

> Might anyone here be able to help with this? It's about Network
> Analysis - which I know is used regularly by people tracking
> companies, media neutrality etc.

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Tom Longley <tom at tacticaltech.org>
> Date: Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 6:48 AM
> Subject: [Scoda-dev] Network analysis of landgrabbing data
> To: scoda-dev at lists.okfn.org

> Hash: SHA1

> Hi there --

> The plot so far: I've put together two gentle introductory courses as
> part of Tactical Tech's work with the School of Data. The first, on
> data cleaning; the second on descriptive analysis. Both use
> spreadsheets. They're in the final run now. The data used in the
> course is about large scale land acquisition in the developing world
> by hedge funds for the biofuel industry
> (http://datahub.io/dataset/grain-landgrab-data).

> For the third course, I'm looking at at network analysis using a foss
> tool called Gephi. With limited tinkering you make make neat things,
> for example this showing the "land grabbing" transaction network

> https://cloud.tacticaltech.org/public.php?service=files&file=%2Ftom%2Ffiles%2FSchool%20of%20Data%2Fexchanges.png

> (the Gephi file for this is here:
> https://cloud.tacticaltech.org/public.php?service=files&file=%2Ftom%2Ffiles%2FSchool%20of%20Data%2Fgrain_landgrab_20121205.gephi.zip)

> *just remove the .zip extension - I added to this as our cloud
> objected to .gephi as an extension*

> Gephi certainly makes graphing more accessible, and I feel "graph
> thinking" is such a useful basic skill in examining issues like this
> one, and others involving companies and finance.

> However, so far I have found the tool very challenging to use. This is
> in part because of its byzantine UI, which can be overcome with a bit
> of patience. However, the big issue is that its functions and the way
> it behaves are unfathomable: it's hard to know what to expect if for
> example you apply a Yifan-Hu Proportional algorithm  to a dataset. You
> could apply it a 100 times and still not be any wiser about what it is
> doing and why you'd choose it over a Force Atlas.

> So I'm looking for some help: do you know anyone who can work with me
> to be a tourist guide about network analysis, explaining the concepts
> to me in plain language, and helping me de-mystify this for learners
> at the School. I may be able to cover the cost of a day of someone's
> time to help me out (confirmation pending on this).

> Best regards,

> Tom
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)

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