January 11th, 2010

Visualizing survey results

In November 2009, I did a mini-project together with Boris Müller and the boys from raureif. My task was to create a visualization of the survey results of an event. The participants were asked to rate the events with respect to 9 questions on a scale from 1-10. As we did not have much time (nor budget), we went for the first good-looking idea available. What could that be? Right, a radial visualization (be damned, circles for non-circular data!). Anyways, I produced a quick funky mockup with random data: Each circle sector stands for one person’s ratings, and these are ordered by their average rating. For each single rating, I draw a semi-transparent wedge, with distance from center as well as color indicating the rating’s value. Special treatment is provided for the overall event rating (a more opaque, smaller wedge). For visual spice, a black spline connects all the average values of the ratings.

So, we agreed on it and shipped it. Seeing it with the real data, however, made me wonder if I should have looked into typical rating statistics a bit more :)

Well. Lesson learnt. It is a nice little visualization nevertheless.

Which reminds me of an excellent article about how to prevent to uniform votes already in the interface.

As a bonus, here is a little remake using protovis with again, ridiculously few lines of code: → read more

March 2nd, 2009

Elastic times

nyt_elastic

Today was a good day, so I thought I would share its results immediately, instead of fine-tuning forever – who knows when I find the time anyways!

I built a little facet browser for the New York Times Article Search API – an impressively fast faceted search engine covering over two million articles. So, give it a spin!

Some caveats:

  • Don’t look for the page navigation – there is none. Pure laziness, will update it soon.
  • The initial counts are based on a search for “the” (which I figured would appear in all articles). Unfortunately, only the top 15 or so values per facet are returned, so you cannot click, e.g. the year 2008 in the beginning. Will fix.
  • The API has a request limit of 5000 queries per day. So if your requests don’t work – come back tomorrow morning :)
  • Unfortunately, the API seems to support only one value per facet. So, all facets are single-select.(fixed, see comments).

The code is based on my totally revamped elastic lists prototype. I used this project as a little sandbox experiment of how easy customization is possible, and especially how to make a switch from a fully client-based to a server–based filtering model.

April 21st, 2008

Visualizing a hierarchical glossary

For the EU project MACE, I have been experimenting with hierarchical visualizations. Just the quick link for now, I hope I find the time to share some of the background and findings later…

On a related note: 9 days left to hand in your papers and take part in a great conference this autumn!