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a method for generating flow maps using hierarchical clustering given a set of nodes, positions, & flow data between the nodes. flow maps aim to show the movement of objects from one location to another, such as the number of people in a migration, the amount of goods being traded, or the number of packets in a network.

the advantage of flow maps is that they reduce visual clutter by merging edges. most flow maps are drawn by hand & there are few computer algorithms available. this particular technique is inspired by graph layout algorithms that minimize edge crossings & distort node positions while maintaining their relative position to one another.

see also pivotgraph.

[link: stanford.edu]