Interactive Visualizations for Dynamic and Multivariate Networks. Free, online, and open source.


Launch the Vistorian
Formatting Data


Getting Started
Upcoming Courses
Previous Courses
Visual Network Exploration


Research & VistorianLab

Free 6-Weeks Online Course on Interactive Visual Network Exploration

Course Material Info Sessions Prerequisites and requirements Key Information Registration Course Schedule Who are we? Slack Channel FAQs

The Vistorian team is running a free, hands-on online course that teaches the basics of exploring temporal, geographical, and multivariate network data (e.g., social networks) through interactive network visualizations. Exploratory network analysis is suitable for those working or planning to work with qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods research, at any stage of their research process.

We will use The Vistorian, an online tool that provides interaction visualizations for networks: node-link diagrams, adjacency matrices, a timeline, and a map. Each visualization provides a complementary view onto network data. This course will assist you in visual network exploration as well as in preparing your network data.

The course includes a 2-hour session per week for 5 weeks (Jan 12-Feb 9, 2022) and may require potentially more time at home to prepare and work with your data.

During the course, you will learn to

  1. structure your network data and prepare it for visualization with the Vistorian.
  2. define goals of your exploration and what you aim to learn about your network data using visualizations.
  3. know a range of network visualizations, through theory and hands-on use.
  4. use different types of interactive visualizations to explore your data.

The course combines brief lectures with hands-on activities, discussions, individual support, and networking possibilities. The course includes case-studies and discussions about exploratory network research.

Check this websites for eventual updates and additional details.

Course Material

The outline and description of all weeks content can be found here Visual Network Exploration Course Outline and Material

Please find here the link to each session’s slides:

  1. Session (1): Network Data Prepration
  2. Session (2): Extra Session on Network Data Prepration
  3. Session (3): Data Shaping Techniques and Challanges
  4. Session (4): Visual Exploration of Networks with Node-link Diagrams
  5. Session (5): Visual Exploration of Networks with Adjacency Matrix
  6. Session (6) Last Session: Visual Exploration of Networks with Timeline, Map, and Parallel View

Info Sessions

We run 2 open info sessions on

Both sessions are the same. Each session will walk you through the course, demo the Vistorian, and give you the opportunity to meet us and discuss questions before signing up. Join an info session on zoom. Passcode: qL0qfgpW . To attend this info session please sign-up through this link https://forms.office.com/r/ez0mpKSc6W.

Click here to download the Info Session Slides

Course Prerequisites and Requirements

Key Information:

Course Registration

What to Prepare Before the Course?

Course Schedule

Session zoom link: https://ed-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/82222194588 PW: uB1kNvB4

Week 1 : Network Data Preparation 12th Jan 2022, covers the following topics:

Weeks (2-3) : Data Shaping Techniques and Challenges 19th/26th Jan 2022, covers the following topics:

Week 5 : Visualizing and Analyzing your Data using Matrix 9thnd Feb 2022, covers the following topics:

Week 6 : Visualizing and Analyzing your Data using Timeline, Map, and Multiple-Views 16th Feb 2022, covers the following topics:

Who are we?

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are a group of researchers at the VisHub, University of Edinburgh who are offering this course:

Slack Channel

We invite you to The Vistorian slack channel for questions, open discussions on the Vistorian and on how can we use exploratory and interactive visualizations, and updates, please join us on : The Vistorian Slack Channel


How does the Vistorian handle my data?

While The Vistorian is a web application, i.e., it runs in your browser, your data will remain on your machine and will not be transmitted to any other machine. Consequently, you do not need any login but also you cannot share your visualizations with colleagues.

Are you gathering any usage data?

Please refer to the ethics forms approved by the ethics committee at University of Edinburgh for a detailed description on how we handle your data. You can find detailed description of the ethics forms here:

If we do not download software, does that mean The Vistorian will hold and have access to our data?

The Vistorian stores all of your data on the user’s own machine. As The Vistorian is a web application, i.e., it runs in your browser, your data will remain on your machine and will not be transmitted to any other machine.

Can The Vistorian handle data held in a GEDCOM file?

The current version does not support GEDCOM files. This feature might be added in the near future, but as a workaround GEDCOM files can be converted to CSV and used with the Vistorian.

Can I join the course without my own dataset? Will you have a demo dataset to play with? As I minted to collect network data soon but would like to see what visualization I can do.

Yes, a demo dataset shall be provided to participants who do not have their own dataset. Priority is for those who have their own dataset to work on, however we will keep in consideration participants with/without datasets.

The Vistorian can handle up to 5000 links graphs, what matters actually is the number of links. However, it might degrade the interactivity and response as the graph size goes up to such a number. Due the fact that all graph data is stored on the user’s machine (browser’s local storage) which has a limited space.