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Sailing through the Network of the Hungarian elite 23 Sep 2016

This interactive infovisualization was created by K-Monitor to show the connections of the Hungarian political and business elite through drawing the network of the participants of the two biggest Hungarian sailing reggattas, the Blue ribbon and White ribbon competitions between 2014 and 2016.
Check out the visualization here

The Blue ribbon is a round the lake sailing competition on lake Balaton, Hungary organized regularly since the 1930s. The White ribbon was founded later, and it is a partial round around the same lake. As it is the case with expensive sports it is mostly the elite that participates, especially when it comes to prestigious regattas such as the Blue Ribbon. K-Monitor staff downloaded the list of competitors of the two regattas between 2013 and 2016 from the regatta’s webpage focusing on the competitors sailing in the same boat, assuming that it might reveal unhidden (or not yet public) relationships between business people and politicians.

Though only the names are available, several of them could be identified. The leading news portal Index published the network in an article stating that newbie billionaire cousin of the Central Bank Chairman was sailing in the same boat with the business partner of the son-in-law of the Prime Minister. The website asked its readers to check and send possible connections based on this network. The article had over 100 000 visitors according to the website. 

The thicker the edge between the nodes representing the competitors is, the more often they were competing in the same boat. The colouring of the nodes indicates the modularity clusters. K-Monitor team was using Gephi for the modularity clustering and PageRank calculation. By clicking on a node, each competitor’s own cluster is highlighted, and also some metrics are revealed showing the PageRank, modularity group, how many times the person participated in any of the competitions, and the degree.

The RANK indicates the importance of the given competitor within the whole network. The network as a whole suggests that there are many competitors, who make up one team over the regattas; they are the smaller clusters on the sides of the main cluster having no connections with other competitors. Nevertheless, there are quite many cooperations between the participants in the main cluster. The data was manually downloaded in .xlsx format from the official website of the Hungarian Yachting Association (www.hunsail.hu). The scripts for data cleaning and transformation were build in R statistical environment. The network was exported from Gephi using Sigmajs exporter developed by the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. The data was organized and visualized by Krisztina Vámos and Borbála Tóth.