Hello, EEI sends just the hashes, for verification. However ESET applications (in case Live Grid Feedback System is enabled) do send files for in-depth analysis / replication. However your assumption is incorrect - popularity is determined by how often the file is seen in LiveGrid, reputation is the result of the replication / file behavior.
The higher a circle is on the Y axis, the more machines in your LAN have particular files. The further a circle is on the X axis, the more ESET users have the file (ie. the more popular it is worldwide). The bigger a circle is, the more such files you have.
To illustrate it on a concrete example:
The red-marked circle means that you have quite many files that exist only on 1 computer in your LAN but are quite popular among ESET users since the LG popularity is 7 (1-10 mil. of users):