This article tries to give feedbacks on two recent Gephi events in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Gephi community is expanding and local events are the best way to meet and greet. We fully support any initiative, and are willing to help/sponsor any meetup or workshop you want to organize. Please contact us for more details.
Gephi User Group Meetup #1
This meetup took place in San Francisco, inviting the local Gephi users to gather around a glass and discuss the project. Hosted by Mathieu Bastian, Gephi’s co-founder, around 15 users showed up. The purpose of a Gephi User Group is to help users, but also developers interested in plug-ins development. For us, it is a great way to simply understand how Gephi is used and on what the development should focus in future releases.
The most notable fact is the diversity of the users: academics, hackers, startups, designers, media, data scientists and more. It’s amazing to see in how many domains network data exists and where analyzing them make sense. Supporting all this diverse datasets is also a challenge, and that was a strong endorsement for the plug-in architecture. Another strength of Gephi is its performances. I asked the question “How big are your networks?”. It’s interesting to notice many of Gephi’s users have very large networks, and are pushing the envelop on performances and memory usage in their daily use.
In general, Mathieu received excellent feedback on the software, praising the interactivity, aesthetics and the plug-in architecture. Users also mentioned that the documentation is still sparse and focus should be made on data transformation. Indeed, a major blocker is often to create a network dataset from an Excel file or a database. The Gephi Toolkit attracted a lot of questions as well.
Gephi Workshop in San Francisco
This workshop was thankfully organized by Kris Chen and Elijah Meeks, and hosted by Noisebridge in San Francisco. Part of the Data Visualization Group in Bay Area, this workshop gathered an amazing crowd of more than 50 participants, eager to learn how to use Gephi. Elijah Meeks is a Digital Humanities Specialist at Stanford and one of the most advanced Gephi user. He ran the workshop, walking users through the complete Gephi process, from data import to preview. Mathieu Bastian was also present, helping users.
We hope to make more workshops like this, as it was a great success. Many Thanks to organizers.
The next workshops will be presented by Sébastien Heymann and Julian Bilcke at the UKSNA and ICWSM conferences in July!