Choropleths

In this post I will simultaneously have Fun With Data and Fun With Maps. I will use public APIs to turn my Isle of Alameda into a “choropleth“, a map which displays areas that are colored or patterned in relation to data.

To do this I will need to find boundaries within Alameda that I can associate with data of some kind. For this I turn to the ultimate source of geographical data (more...)

The Isle of Alameda

The best way to learn how to make your own maps is to map someplace familiar. The place I live, Alameda, is an island in the San Francisco Bay, but existing maps don’t do it justice.

So as part of my Fun With Maps project I set out to disentangle Alameda from the urban sprawl that surrounds it and, using open source data, make a cleaner map that captures the windblown isolation of a real (more...)

Fun With Maps

Maps are one of the oldest and most powerful forms of visualization. Lately I’ve been learning how to make my own maps using open source data and public APIs.

I started by simply plotting locations on a world map. World maps in svg format are readily available on the web. Wikimedia Commons, for example, has free maps in a variety of formats. The simplest is an equirectangular projection.

It’s dirt simple to plot locations on (more...)

Who Likes Me?

In my previous entry, Fun with Facebook, I described how to pull data from Facebook’s Graph API Explorer, organize it using NodeBox, and turn it into representations of friends, posts, and the “likes” that connect them. Here is the final result:

The final “Who Likes Me?” poster

The above image is a snapshot of a high-resolution poster with many fine details. One of my goals for this project was to create (more...)

Fun With Facebook

I am often surprised by which of my Facebook posts are the most liked and by who likes what. I wondered: are there any interesting patterns there? Could I visualize them?

My next question (as always) was: could I get the data? Thanks to the rise of  the API economy I could. Companies have discovered it’s profitable to make their private data public. IT departments are splitting into private and public-facing sides. Public APIs (more...)