Bridge

Kumu's bridge feature allows you to automatically draw connections between any two elements that have a "mutual friend"—an element in between that they're both connected to.

For example, if two people are connected to an organization on your map, you can tell Kumu to bridge over the organization, connecting those two people directly and hiding the organization from view.

Bridge in the Advanced Editor

To bridge using the Advanced Editor, here's the basic syntax:

@settings {
  bridge: selector;
}

selector can be any valid element selector. You can separate multiple selectors with commas to bridge over multiple different groups of elements.

For example, lets say you had a map of people connected to projects and organizations, and you wanted to connect people to people. Here's how you could use bridging to accomplish that (assuming project elements have the element type "Project", and organization elements have the element type "Organization"):

@settings {
  bridge: project, organization;
}

Voila! You've now mapped a detailed network of people, without having to gather additional data or re-structure your existing data.

Combine clustering and bridging

Bridging can also be used in combination with fine-tuned clustering to draw connections directly between two elements based on the information in their fields.

In the example above, imagine that, instead of a network of people, projects, and organizations, you only had:

  • A group of elements representing people
  • A "Projects" field inside each element, containing a list of each person's projects
  • An "Organization" field inside each element, indication which organization each person is affiliated with.

Here's how you would cluster and bridge to build a network of people connected to other people, based on the projects and organizations in their fields:

@settings {
  cluster: person by "Projects" as "Project", person by "Organization" as "Organization";
  bridge: project, organization;
}

When reading this code, Kumu will follow these steps:

  1. Create a new element for each project and organization, with the element types set to "Project" and "Organization" respectively
  2. Draw connections from each person to their projects and their organization
  3. Bridge over the projects and organizations, connecting people directly to other people

You can also bridge between the elements created by clustering. Let's say you were working with that same dataset (elements represent people, with project and organization data stored in fields) and you wanted to see a network of organizations connected to other organizations. Here's how you can do that:

@settings {
  cluster: person by "Organization" as "Organization";
  bridge: person;
}

And remember: all of these settings are saved in views, so you can quickly toggle between different bridge and cluster settings, showing radically different versions of your network without changing the underlying data in any way.

Bridging has the ability to create a lot of new connections—so many that they might bog down your map!

If you notice your map freezing or moving slowly after you bridge, check out our guide on Kumu's data limits for more tips on how to improve speed.

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