Viewing Web Pages as Graphs

Aharef has a very cool java applet for visualizing a web page as a graph. The graph is made up of color-coded nodes that correspond to different tag types. For example, DIVs are green and links are blue. The visualization makes the complexity of a given page immediately apparant, and it’s interesting to observe the emergent shapes that various pages produce.

For example, here’s a comparison of Inquirium’s main home page

Inquirium Home Page

…and the home page for InqScribe.

InqScribe Home Page

Neither page is terribly complex. The red nodes give away the fact that we’re using table tags on the main Inquirium page. The bursts of blue links (I think of them as flowers) appear all over the place, including our sites: these generally represent collections of links (lists, etc.) and vary a bit in coloration depending on whether the page includes images and additional formatting.

You can use Aharef’s applet to generate graphs of any web page you want. Have fun, and while you’re there, take a look at his One Thousand Paintings project.

posted May 31, 2006 by eric

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