Sunday 1 November 2015

Cocktail Chord Diagram

I've had the third and probably final instalment of my investigations into HTML 5 sitting on my hard disk for quite some time, so I've decided to bite the bullet, tidy it up and upload.

This experiment uses my JSON cocktail database to display a cocktail chord diagram. Chord diagrams have been very trendy in the last couple of years, to the point where I've seen them turn up as art exhibits in galleries and museums. I've always been very sceptical about how much information they actually convey, so I thought I'd experiment with the cocktail dataset.

I've grouped cocktail ingredients together in a fairly arbitrary manner and then pruned any group that is used in fewer than ten of the 289 cocktails. The width of a chord between two ingredient groups is proportional to the number of cocktails in the database that uses both groups.

It turns out that these diagrams are quite tricky to make aesthetically pleasing, especially the order and form of the chords (see the JavaScript if you're curious).

The result is mildly gratifying, but I'm still not convinced about these diagrams' utility, so I didn't spend a huge amount of time tweaking it.

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