xkcd wrote:I once spent, and I am not exaggerating at all here, eight hours googling to try to find a simple program that would let me make graphs like that, just point and click to add stuff, and let it arrange them to generally make it look nice. EIGHT HOURS. I still don't have one. I want to map my social networks too!
Unfortunately, I don't have a mac. But maybe someone here can recommend one?
Not quite point and click, but prefuse (Java) will let you load a file of format:
where each line is a connection. Check out the Small World demo for an applet that's just waiting to load the file.
If you take a look at the documentation, there's a lot of other stuff it can do as well. It does a bunch of other diagrams, but you can also change the algorithms used to arrange nodes, or adjust the physics and connection weights. I used it a couple of times (once in a paper using my Facebook friends as data and once after a particularly scandalous spring break trip), but it's been years ago, so I'm sure it's even cooler than I remember it being.
Also, for the sake of completeness, a list of information visualization software packages. I vaguely remember looking at graphviz at the same time I was looking at prefuse, but ended up going with the latter because I could just use the demos to do what I wanted.
And yeah -- this is one of my favorite comics so far. Not only do I love mapping social networks, but I frequently fume during the previews about the sub-optimal (usually for me) seating arrangements.