Mapping the Internet Movie Db

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Short description of content[edit]

[Herr, 2007] present a Visualization of the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) which contains 428.440 international movies and over a million actors. The main aim is to give a global overview of the entire movie space and the co-actors relationships.

The visualization is organized with several layers. The main layer contains all movies that were made between 1890 and 2007 and plots them in 97 columns. The movies titles are sorted within each year and the number of starring actors and the genre are encoded with size and color.

The next layer up is the actor layer which pictures the co-actor network by means of a force-directed layout algorithm [Davidson, 2001]. This algorithm ensures that actors who often worked together are drawn close to each other and vice versa. The color of the actor font corresponds to the color code of the genre s/he most contributed to. An additional layer is used to offer landmarks in this complex co-actor network.

These layers provide a reference system that can be used to overlay additional data. In the Visualization below two aditional layers are plotted. The first one shows winners and nominees of the Academy Award's best actress/actor award between 2000 and 2004. The second one enhance winners and nominees of the Academy Award's best picture award with connecting lines.

Evaluation and suitable datatypes[edit]

The authors got the data from the Graph Drawing 2005 web site [GD, 2005]. The dataset is a biparitite graph in which each node either corresponds to an actor or to a movie. It also provides metadata for the nodes like name, year, genre and so on. These data first had to be cleaned because like in all large datasets there have been a lot of anomalies. Finally the data was stored in a relational database to simplify data handling.


Due to the huge Dataset the Visualizaion cannot be attached here. A zoomable Google Maps interface for exploring the Visualizaiton is available at and


  • [Herr, 2007] Bruce W. Herr, Weimao Ke, Elisha Hardy, Katy Börner, Movies and Actors: Mapping the Internet Movie Database. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Information Visualisation (IV'07), pages 465-469, Zurich, Switzerland, 2007.
  • [GD, 2005] Internet Movie Database (IMDb) network provided for GD'05 at
  • [Davidson, 2001] G.S. Davidson, B.N. Wylie and K.W. Boyack, Cluster stability and the use of noise in interpretation of clustering. Proceeding IEEE Information Visualization 2001, pages 23 - 30, 2007.