GIRARD Paul, PLIQUE Guillaume, JACOMY Mathieu. Manylines, a graph web publication platform with storytelling features. In Graph processing devroom, Free and Open Source Software Developer's European Meeting (FOSDEM). Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2015.
More and more people work with graphs nowadays, but it is not always easy to publish and share the graph interpretation on the web. Manylines is a web tool built at Sciences Po médialab to solve this issue. Some researchers and students use network visualizations to explore their data, but networks are not as clear as maps and sharing one’s interpretation is difficult. Manylines main innovation is to allow the user toexplain and share a narrative about his network: an interactive story where each “slide” is a particular zoom, pan and filtering of the network, completed by a title and description, with fluid transitions like in Prezi.
Published as an open source prototype with the source code available on GitHub, Manylines is currently built around three screens: – The first screen allows applying the ForceAtlas2 layout to the network, in order to settle the “basemap”: the definitive positions of nodes and edges used to support further interpretations. – The second screen allows zooming and filtering the network to explore the data and“take snapshots” representing different insights. – The third screen allows composing narratives by building a series of snapshots, adding a title and short description for each step. The result is an interactive slideshow widget where the user’s exploration of the network is guided step by step, revealing the key interpretation points one by one.