A nice library for doing visualizations in a web browser without having the user install a plugin like flash or java.
Data Viz Dance Moves… Is she a Stevens Student? Probably.
We encountered many obstacles in working with processing this week. Mostly these are due to limitations with Java, but also because processing isn’t using the most current version of java. We found the following to be of an annoyance:
1. Dealing with dates in Java is a pain. There isn’t a straight-forward function to add a specific of number of days to a specific date (for example a function that takes the date 1/1/1900 and the number 20 and returns the date 1/21/1900).
2. We attempted to do something really cool, adding links to Wikipedia articles in the visualization. We were not able to accomplish this because processing is using an old version of the Java library that contains the function we need to interact with a web browser. Java admits that this version has a bug in it, and prevents the browser window from opening the website because Java thinks it is an invalid URL. Why does java even try to validate the URL? It should let the browser do that.
Since we are talking about links and arrows this week, this viz was brought to my mind. One of my friends posted it on my Facebook wall about a week ago.
The viz shows the paths that arguments for and against gay marriage follow. Note that there are no start and end points, and the visualization is not sorted or grouped into different sections. Its all thrown together. At first look, you would think that this is an in-effective visualization due to its lack of organizations and thought process.
Taking a second look, it IS effective at showing the subject by explaining how ”ridiculous” and “opinionated” the discussions about gay marriage are. It does a good job at explaining that there really is no real logical thoughts put into the debate, just extremely opinionated, sometimes offensive, statements. It is definitely effective in that way.
Of all the nice features in processing, map is so far the best. I was worried about doing all the complicated math to scale certain values in the mapping and time series assignments, but once I understood how the map function works, everything became so much less overwhelming. The function is a great way to convert some value (whether is degrees of the earth, meridian coordinates, or a value ranging from 2-5 million) to pixel in a window. Awsome!
I found this very cool viz. I did some research and it turns out this type of visualization is called a “Hierarchical Edge Bundle.” Essentially this is a way to summarize a very complex Hierarchy (like employees within an organization or social networking connections), instead of having a very nasty tree.
In this viz, color represents the position. Red is the “manager” and green is the “employee”
Technical paper of the visualization is located here: http://www.win.tue.nl/~dholten/papers/bundles_infovis.pdf.