Overview of relationships between groups - February 2008
After squashing a couple of obstinate bugs, here it is: the updated version of the network of groups. Here we see the main cluster and several smaller clusters surrounding it. The tiny clusters I posted earlier.
This graph depicts the interconnections between 3629 groups (7211 links, in case anyone cares). All these groups have at least 400 members, and share public content with other groups. There is an additional, esoteric cutoff leaving out groups with too little shared content, mostly to make this graph vaguely close to something one can try to interpret. I'm not sure how well it does in that respect - in my opinion, it's quite ugly...
The September 2005 version had a tightly connected core, and many "tendrils" radiating from it. There were no obvious "loops" connecting the tendrils. This has changed a bit. The "core" is much larger this time, too. I guess I should have used a slightly stricter parameter to make it "open up" a bit more.
One of the most interesting things I observed in this graph is that there is a big "hole", or rather there is a continuum of related concepts coming out of the main cluster and looping around, back to the main cluster. Let's follow this trail.
I start from a subcluster of groups about dogs, quite interconnected among themselves. The "Dogs!" group links to "Cats & Dogs", a bridge into the cats subcluster. We pass by several cat groups and link from "Cat world on flickr" to "The Living World", which in turn links us to "Creatures", the gateway into the reptilian subcluster. From there we move on to the "Critters" group, in the spider neighborhood. Then we move up to the insects subcluster, and we follow the trail from "Flying Insects" to "Dragonflies", we fly on to "Odonata" and splash into the "Pond Life" group. "Ponds" naturally links us to "Ducks and Geese", and we realize that "Waterfowl" are "Water Birds". Still too specific? We move on to "Unlimited Birds", and discover that there are many birds in "Tennessee". Apparently not only birds - we see there are caves there, and trains. "All aboard! Trains - Real and Surreal" will bring you via "Public Transit" and "subway" to a variety of destinations, including Buenos Aires and Athens, deep into the main cluster.
But let's not forget the dogs! Their "PetPics" show them chasing "squirrels", which as we all know are "Backyard Wildlife". Several wildlife groups await, including "Jeff Corwin - Animal Planet", for Portuguese-speaking wildlife - naturally bringing us to a host of brazilian groups, and back into the main, tightly-interconnected cluster.
Oh yes, you'll notice plenty of subclusters that include almost only groups devoted to the important industry of producing views and comments, and the crucial duty of tallying views and favorites. From "5 faves and less", the group trails converge on various redundant groups singing the praises of the pinnacles of photographic creation. I couldn't fail to notice that the groups devoted to "views" are tightly connected to the Red Light District groups, while those devoted to favorites and interestingness are pretty much in limbo.
An unfortunate technical detail: all special characters are rendered as ".", making some group names (particularly those in Arabic) rather unreadable. Sorry about that. In any case, you'll need the original size to be able to read the text.
Update: the Groups Browser now reflects the updated data.