Tuesday, November 9, 2010

By morning light, the cinnamon's on her cheeks.

Today I tried out using mappable data.

In mapping crime, it's obvious why this is a useful tool. People want to know what the most dangerous spots are. People want to know where not to move.

For real estate transactions, it makes a lot of sense. You want to know where the land is so that you have context to go with the address, it actually means something to you.

Births and deaths I could see how it could be useful, although it's less obvious.

It's a much more complicated process than I expected though, to be honest. After playing around with ZeeMaps and MapAList a bit, I realized coding is not going away in this class. Before this class, I didn't even know what a CSV file was. Now, I'm learning excel in an entirely new way.

Once you figured out how to correctly arrange the data you needed, the sites were incredibly customizable. Even finding what data you needed wasn't as hard as it sounds. As a rule of thumb: delete stuff you don't need until you're left with what makes sense.

And considering most of them are easy to embed as well, I'm feeling optimistic about the web building portion of this class for the first time in a long time.

Now, with crime, it's a matter of deciding how to sort all the data we have yet again. How to group things? There's a difference between larceny and felonious larceny, but do those deserve to be different on the map? there's only so many basic colors of pinpoints we have before we start using picture of corns and shoes to mark locations of crimes.

It doesn't help that those looking for crime have so many different things they're looking for, as well.

Choosing how to organize all this data could prove to be the hardest part.

1 comment:

  1. You should check out Edward Tufte's work in data visualization, it's extraordinary.