Software

19 posts
Observable Plot, a JavaScript library for more straightforward visualization of tabular data

If you’re into the notebook workflow, Observable Plot is a JavaScript library built for you: We created Plot to better support exploratory data analysis in reactive, JavaScript notebooks like Observable. We continue to support D3 for bespoke explanatory visualization and recommend Vega-Lite for imperative, polyglot environments such as Jupyter. Plot lets you see your ideas quickly, supports interaction with minimal fuss, is flexible with respect to data, and can be...

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Send postcards of plots made in R

How many times have you made a plot in R and thought, “I wish I could send this as a postcard to my best friend.” Probably a million times, right? Wish no more. The ggirl package (that’s gg-in real life for short) by Jacqueline Nolis lets you send a plot over the internets to a postcard API, which sends a physical card to an address you specify. Tags: ggirl, ggplot2,...

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Turn images into LEGO builds in R

The brickr package in R by Ryan Timpe takes an image, converts it to a mosaic, and then provides a piece list and instructions for the build. While not officially affiliated with the LEGO group, Timpe is a data scientist for LEGO, so it’s probably as close as you’re going to get to real deal. Timpe made a package a couple of years back, but when I went to use...

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Book Review: Visualizing with Text by Richard Barth

The creative process is sometimes described in terms of diverge-converge cycles. The diverge step involves experimentation and rewards suspending disbelief, while excesses are curbed and concepts refined during the converge step. Richard Brath's just-released book Visualizing with Text is an important resource that expands our appreciation for the place of text in visual displays. Books on data visualization fall into recognizable types, of which two popular ones are the style...

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Why you should expunge the defaults from Excel or (insert your favorite graphing program)

Yesterday, I posted the following chart in the post about Cornell's Covid-19 case rate after re-opening for in-person instruction. This is an edited version of the chart used in Peter Frazier's presentation. The original chart carries with it the burden of Excel defaults. What did I change and why? I switched away from the default color scheme, which ignores the relationships between the two lines. In particular, the key comparison...

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Arquero, a JavaScript library to query and transform datasets

An often painful yet necessary step in visualization is to get your data in the right format. Arquero, from the University of Washington Interactive Data Lab, aims to make this part of the process easier: Arquero is a JavaScript library for query processing and transformation of array-backed data tables. Following the relational algebra and inspired by the design of dplyr, Arquero provides a fluent API for manipulating column-oriented data frames....

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Two.js for two-dimensional drawing and animation in modern web browsers

“Two.js is deeply inspired by flat motion graphics. As a result, two.js aims to make the creation and animation of flat shapes easier and more concise.” It also renders in webgl, canvas2d, and svg, with not much change in your code. Two.js is definitely going on my list of things to try. Tags: animation, JavaScript

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Extract data from a plot in a flat image file

Maybe you’ve seen a chart and wished you could look at the data yourself. Maybe you want to see it from a different angle. But the underlying dataset is nowhere to be found. The WebPlotDigitizer by Ankit Rohatgi lets you load an image and it will attempt to pull out the dataset. Amazing. I can’t believe this has been around since 2010, and I’m just now hearing about it. [via...

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“Take On Me” by a-ha recreated in Excel

Dylan Tallchief recreated “Take On Me” by a-ha in Excel. It’s not the tools. It’s how you use them. Something something blah blah. It’s in Excel! Tags: a-ha, Excel, songs

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The why axis

A few weeks ago, I replied to a tweet by someone who was angered by the amount of bad graphics about coronavirus. I take a glass-half-full viewpoint: it's actually heart-warming for  dataviz designers to realize that their graphics are being read! When someone critiques your work, it is proof that they cared enough to look at it. Worse is when you publish something, and no one reacts to it. That...

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