Is a flat text file or a database right for an app?

I’ve been busily coding away on my final project for my data visualization independent study. I’m looking at data that I’ve been slowly acquiring on the life of art galleries that were in Chicago in 1990.  Back then, the Chicago Artists’ Coalition had a complete listing in a pamphlet (more like a book) they put […]

Visualizing networking: When it doesn’t work

So much in journalism and in life, we strive for perfection in our work. The best story idea, the best presentation.  We strive for perfection as individuals, we compete to be the best, get to the scene before someone else, write tighter, edit faster.  But sometimes, it’s just as important to recognize when something just […]

Treemapping Gov. Quinn’s State of the State

This week in the Processing book, I learned all about trees and hierarchies. There’s a lot of potential here for allowing the user to delve deeper into interactives by providing multiple layers. This is a very cool example of how programming helps support my theory of journalism — the deeper the information you offer, the […]

Relating zip codes and geography using Processing

This week I tackled recreating Ben Fry’s Zipdecode project, which he gives great step-by-step instructions for in his Visualizing Data book that I have been following along with this quarter. It’s an interesting take on the concept of the scatterplot, even before using its interactive features, it asserts its usefulness as a population density map. […]

Changes in the numbers of students majoring in programming and social sciences

What is a traditional path to programming nowadays? It’s a question I’ve been thinking about a lot, esp. in the realm of the journalist-programmer. So many people from the older school of journalism came through using databases as tools to help with reporting, not because they took a class in it. That’s certainly encouraging for […]

Reflections on Visualization Theory (Data viz readings, week 1)

In this first set of reading, I learn that the principles of simplicity, accuracy and more are as true in data visualization as they are in a text story. Edward Tufte, Visual Explanations, “Images and Quantities” In Tufte’s first paragraph of Visual Explanations, he discusses the importance of readability — a concept I see as […]