Tool for Visualization of Connections between Agents and Entities in Context of Redtubegate

redtubegate-inter-connEarly in December 2013 a lawfirm began to send out approximately 10 to 40 thousand cease-and-desist letters on behalf of the rightholder of a bunch of porn flicks for streaming those films on redtube. So far, so good. Now a lot of people didn’t like to receive bills ranging from 250 to more than a thousand Euro for streaming erotica just before christmas especially when being pretty sure that they didn’t even do so. Now given the magnitude of this case a lot of these people turned sour and started to dig a bit deeper. And what was brought to light is a shady network of companies with links where there should be none and a bunch of business partners who as well turned out to have more in common than what was to be seen at first glance.

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Social Network Analysis by Lada Adamic on coursera

courseraDid you know that top researchers and universties from all over the world offer their knowledge in structured and partly certified online courses? Well now you know! Those coures are refered to as MOOC which stands for “Massive Open Online Courses” and is for me one of THE digital discoveries of the year 2013. The three biggest platforms are currently edX, coursera and Udacity. I am following courses on all of those three and I really sometimes can’t believe how awesome this opportunity is.

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R code for igraph animation

For my personal code archive and everybody who finds interest in it I publish the R code which I used to create the frames for the animations showing the carpoolings formed through the booking system until a certain date. The graphs are created using igraph and plotted into frames which are later glued into an MPEG clip using ffmpeg.


Guidance for the code

The graph and its growth is all contained in one CSV file keeping three columns. A driver’s ID, a passenger’s ID and the the date the passenger took a ride with the driver – according to our booking system – this list defines the possible edges.

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Animated visualization of a growing network of carpoolings

Clipboard01As you might know, I am working as the Data Analyst for in Munich. is the company maintaining the leading web platform for organizing carpoolings (in the world, actually). Many people don’t know what “carpooling” means, so let me explain it you:

Tanja lives in Stuttgart and wants to visit her family in Hamburg next weekend. This is quite a long distance and hence pretty expensive – and also kind of dull sitting in a car alone for several hours. Having three free seats in her car left, she thinks to herself … “Why not offer those seats to other people and share the expenses with them?!”. So she advertises her planned lift on – the biggest German web-site for carpoolings. Peter who also wants to travel to Hamburg next weekend finds her ad and gives her a call to seal the deal. Okay, so far so good, but few passengers aren’t as reliable as Peter and might just forget about the ride and Tanja would then be left with a free seat and no money. So came up with the idea of a “booking system” to make carpooling agreements more binding. Next weekend Tanja, Peter and further passengers meet and drive to Hamburg together.

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