Snag Trees at Turntable.FM February 20th, 2013 at 11:29pm

If you have a second, check out this post I wrote for the Turntable blog about a cool data graphic I made during our internal hack day.

Reading the chart, like reading the rings on a tree stump, requires a bit of explanation: The cluster of green dots in the middle represent a song’s “primary sources” – that is, people who added the song to their queue on their own, either by uploading it or searching for it in our library. Each grey line is a snag from another user, represented by the yellow dot at the other end of the line. As they play the song for more people, the “snaggers” become “snaggees”, adding another layer to the tree and spreading the music out to more people.

Not content to stop there, I began to plug in more and more songs to see what their snag trees looked like. Not surprisingly, there is as much variation in these patterns as there is in the songs themselves. Soon we were able to identify a few common species of tree.

I hacked the thing together in a day thanks to D3.js and 2 years worth of data in our MongoDB database. Unfortunately, I can’t open source the code, but the tree generator may be available to Turntable users someday soon. Here are a few more of my favorite snag trees:

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