Sunday, August 21, 2011

Viz: TouchGraph Amazon Browser

This classic graph visualization lets the user search for books, movies,electronics with a slight twist. The "TouchGraph Amazon Browser" enhances the browsing experience by allowing the user to explore connections between related items to the searched term. The search can be made in different categories like books, music or movies. Once the searcg graph is displayed, every individual item can be clicked on to to get detailed product information along with a link to the standard Amazon page for the product.

Going into the tecnicalities of the visuzlization, the TouchGraph search relies on the cluster methodology to fully represent the searched item, related item, recommended items by taking into account the sales rank of each item as calculated by Amazon.

Concept of Clusters: As mentioned in the "Help" section of the TouchGraph Amazon Browser, the clusters are formed for similar items to the searched item which are a part of Amazon's recommended list. The size of the bubble for the image is based on the sales rank as calculated by Amazon. The exact algorithm for calculating sales rank is given in the "Help" section.The cluster toolbar is provided to allow the user to change the number of clusters,colors given to the clusters.

I found this visualization very intuitive and rather interesting to use than the normal website method. The visualization of the clusters according to common subjects, recommendations, sales rank gives all related information about a product at a glance which makes it a very effective method.

Try a demo of this at

Apart from Amazon, TouchGraph also has similar interactive visualizations for FaceBook and SEO.