Network graphs are appearing in a number of places. Recently, slate.com published a tool that maps the links between entities in the day’s news.
“To use this interactive tool, just click on a circle to see which stories mention that topic and which other topics it connects to in the network. You can use the magnifying glass icons to zoom in and out. You can also drag the dots around if they overlap.”
It is a lot of fun to play with! That said, they layouts have limited meaning, using a force directed layout to place the nodes on the canvass. The color and size indicators are useful but Up/Down and Left/Right have no meaning.