I want to build learning paths in a simple way and visualize them, the way Neo4j or D3.js do it. Example: I have a set of learning resources that can be connected depending on certain criteria. Thus, it would be possible for learners to start from various starting points and have learning paths depending on this starting point.
Following this, I need two things: first, a UI that lets me connect entries from a database so that a linear view, like a path, comes out. And second, a bird's eye view on the various paths like a force-directed graph that stems from the linear connections I made.
Building and visualizing a graph doesn't require a complex engine. It could be done with Lucidchart, or even basic tools like Arrow Tool, or mind map tools like CMap, if a UI for a graph is your only goal.
That said, there are a lot of things you can only do with a real graph database.
- Run applications on the data.
- Import data to create a graph.
- Search and query the graph, to filter to specific paths and nodes.
- Run graph algorithms to find things like shortest path, betweenness, and community detection.
If you will need some of the features of a graph database, and a chart of your graph isn't enough, Neo4j will be the best avenue to explore. One word of caution, it has a little bit of a learning curve, but it is SO worth it. Graph databases, especially good ones like Neo4j, are an indescribably powerful tool for organizing information (any information).
GraphDBs are to RelationalDBs, what RelationalDBs are to Spreadsheets. But GraphDBs are way easier to learn.