Here is something I've wanted to visualize with my social network service data. Thomas Fletcher has created the Facebook friends wheel application, and it lets you visualize the connections across your contacts. Here's a version of mine with only people who have other connections within my network (100 nodes - 60 additional people have no mutual connections in my network).
The default grouping mechanism seems fairly accurate. There is a Flash version that lets you rearrange the people on the wheel - even moving them off the wheel. But no apparent ability to remove nodes, which I'd be curious to do.
The default grouping algorithm is the "FriendGroupster-4000," which obviously groups the heavily connected people together. Picking the "Classic" algorithm still groups mutual friends, but the heavily-mutually-connected people are distributed around the wheel, so they are easier to pick out.
Unsolicited next features
- use the "how do I know this person" data to inform the grouping algorithm
- let me remove individual connections interactively (can do this with the setup, I'd just like it on the Flash option too)
- navigate my network's connections (see their wheels), mostly for fun
- merge the wheels of a limited number of people, again for entertainment
[discovered via Ton Zylstra]