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April 1, 2024 7:11 AM   Subscribe

"I Made a Graph of Wikipedia... This Is What I Found." Learn about communities of articles, articles that are popular in other articles, orphans and dead ends, the 6 degrees of Wikipedia, the longest path on Wikipedia, and Fanta Cake.
posted by clawsoon (9 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
That's funny peculiar? If people are a six-degrees-of-sep population, then you'd expect Wikipediarticles to be smaller because the population size is 1000x smaller, but it's bigger.

Our family have played a Getting Home game starting from the Random Article featured on Wikipedia. "Home" can be defined as Country of Residence. Last time we drew Chagga Languages in the lottery and the best of us got home in four steps:
Dialect Continuum
Scots Language
Celtic languages
Ireland !
posted by BobTheScientist at 9:25 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


That's funny peculiar? If people are a six-degrees-of-sep population, then you'd expect Wikipediarticles to be smaller because the population size is 1000x smaller, but it's bigger.

That was my first thought as well, but if you imagine your own (likely hypothetical) wikipedia page, what percentage of people that you know would warrant a mention/link on it?
posted by Navelgazer at 10:00 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


The list of orphaned articles is quite long!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Orphaned_articles
posted by ckoerner at 1:24 PM on April 1


I really enjoyed watching this. Thank you very much for posting!
posted by hippybear at 3:26 PM on April 1


Every time I cross the Seigenthaler Bridge in Nashville, I think about his orphaned Wikipedia biography. I didn't remember it had been as long ago as 2005, though.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 4:41 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


Fantastic analysis. I want to learn more about separate groups though.
posted by rebent at 12:35 AM on April 2


Cool project!
There's one thing that's unclear to me. He explains the different colors (each color is a different community of closely linked articles). But he doesn't explain the shapes of the communities. Why do they all look a bit like paint blots? In other words, I guess, what determines the x,y coordinates of each article in the graph? Any ideas?
posted by bleston hamilton station at 8:22 AM on April 3


bleston hamilton station: In other words, I guess, what determines the x,y coordinates of each article in the graph? Any ideas?

It'll be done by something like a force-directed graph drawing algorithm. You pretend that every node that's connected on the graph is connected by a spring, and then you let all the springs whip around and wiggle in every direction until they settle down.

The result will be that a group of nodes that has lots of interconnections will be pulled together by all the springs joining it. Those springs will all end up short. But sometimes you'll get springs that are stretched out really far, if they're connecting two very different groups of nodes.

Here is an animation of setting up the nodes randomly and then letting the spring forces take over, with a bit of human intervention to drag some of the nodes around. You can probably find a better example if you go looking.
posted by clawsoon at 2:22 PM on April 3 [3 favorites]


Thanks, clawsoon!
posted by bleston hamilton station at 6:27 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]


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