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To find an image, do a Google image search of the tool. Find an image about 600px wide, if possible. Copy the image URL and paste into the box below.
What is the name of the tool?
Tool Class
To what "family" does the tool belong? Pick as many categories as are appropriate. EG: Data Collection, Security, etc. The wiki will automatically create a link to the relevant tool class.
Network Mapping, Social Media Analytics
Who made the tool? Sometimes the tool name and the developer name are the same, and sometimes, they are different.
Social Media Research Foundation
Date Created
What was the date when the tool was first launched?
Still Maintained?
Do the developers of the tool continue to work on it, adding features and fixing problems?
Open Source?
Is the tool's source code original source code freely available and may it be redistributed and modified? (This makes it possible for users to employ the tool for free, with some technical effort.)
Pick the platforms on which the user would primarily use the tool. Be as selective as possible. If a tool works mainly in the browser, select "Web". If the user can technically load the interface on a smartphone but have a very poor experience, do not select "Android" or "iOS". "Mac" and "PC" are for apps that must be installed to a machine in order to run, as opposed to running from a browser.
What is the main website where a user can learn more about the tool? (Remember to include "http://)."
Payment Structure
How, if at all, does a user pay to use the tool. Select all that apply: "Free" if there are components of a service that can be used for free; "Paid" if payment is required (either one-time, or at a given rate upon use) for use of the tool's full functionality; "subscription" if a monthly payment is required.
free, subscription
Languages Supported
What languages does the app's interface support? Note: some apps allow users to communicate in other languages but require the user to use an English language interface. In this case, the app is considered only to support "English".
Skill Level Needed
  • Beginner - The tool has a simple interface that assists the user, either through automatic processes or simple guides, in working with the tool. The user is able to do most things that they need to do without knowledge of advanced concepts, like code.
  • Intermediate - The tool allows the user to perform many tasks without knowledge of advanced concepts, but about an equal amount of functionality requires advanced knowledge. Some training may be required to use the tool.
  • Advanced - The tool requires advanced knowledge or training in order to use most of its functionality.

Tool Description

NodeXL is a Network Mapping and Social Media Analytics tool developed by the Social Media Research Foundation as a plugin for Excel. The tool can be used to explore and visualizes Social Media and other forms of networks to identify influential organizations, individuals, or posts.

NodeXL is a powerful data collection tool. The free version allows users to pull in 2,000 posts from Twitter. The paid tier (there is a cheap license for nonprofit and academic organizations) unlocks the ability to pull 18,000 tweets, and enables data collection from Facebook pages and groups as well as YouTube comments. NodeXL can also import from various file formats, including UCINET, GraphML, Pajek and other third party graph data importers.


A Sample NodeXL Network Visualization

Data Representation

NodeXL workbooks contain four worksheets: Edges, Vertices, Groups, and Overall Metrics. The relevant data about entities in the graph and relationships between them are located in the appropriate worksheet in row format. For example, the edges worksheet contains a minimum of two columns, and each row has a minimum of two elements corresponding to the two vertices that make up an edge in the graph. Graph metrics and edge and vertex visual properties appear as additional columns in the respective worksheets. This representation allows the user to leverage the Excel spreadsheet to quickly edit existing node properties and to generate new ones, for instance by applying Excel formulas to existing columns.

Graph Analysis

NodeXL contains a library of commonly used graph metrics: centrality, clustering coefficient, diameter. NodeXL differentiates between directed and undirected networks. NodeXL implements a variety of community detection algorithms to allow the user to automatically discover clusters in their social networks.

Graph Visualization

NodeXL generates an interactive canvas for visualizing graphs. The project allows users to pick from several well-known Force-directed graph drawing layout algorithms such as Fruchterman-Reingold and Harel-Koren. NodeXL allows the user to multi-select, drag and drop nodes on the canvas and to manually edit their visual properties (size, color, and opacity). In addition, NodeXL allows users to map the visual properties of nodes and edges to metrics it calculates, and in general to any column in the edges and vertices worksheet.

What Makes This Tool Different from Others in its Class?

NodeXL generally is better at collecting data than other Social Media Analytics Network Mapping tools but it generates less appealing visualizations. Unlike Mentionmapp, NodeXL can pull in tens of thousands of social media posts. Other network mapping tools like Gephi and Kumu do not collect social media data at all. However, the latter two tools, especially Kumu, generate more dynamic visualizations.

Links to Tutorial Content

Projects that use this tool