Assignment 1

on 12|11|2014
Filled under: Assignment 1


This assignment asks you to follow a series of steps outlined in class in order to come to an initial understanding of a dataset that is of personal interest to you. The emphasis in this assignment is on working with online data formats, documenting data, and understanding data through visualization.

You will first need to identify a dataset that’s of interest to you. To do this you will need to identify online sources of data. In this first part of the assignment you are asked to submit three online data sources to the course blog.

The second step will be to choose one dataset for visualization, and to convert the data into a format that you and others in the class can easily work with. For this assignment I will ask everyone to use CSV format because it’s readable using any text editor or spreadsheet software. This conversion should be quite easy assuming that your data source is on the web; most data will be directly available in this format but some data sources may require some work to become readable by a computer and a person.

The final step will be to load the data into one of the online visualization tools demonstrated in class (or one that you find yourself) and to produce a visual representation of the data that reveals information that is potentially of value. What story can you tell using the data, and what view(s) of the data will allow you to present this story clearly and convincingly? I will introduce google fusion, google charts, and Many Eyes in class but you can use any online visualization tool for this assignment.

Your submission to the blog and shared folder should include:

– 1) at least 3 posts to the blog with online data sources; each should include a link, an image and a short description.

– 2) one post to the blog with your visualization, containing the following elements:

– at least 1 image (screencapture of your visualization)

– a 100 word text description that could include the following details:

  • - What is the source? To what extent do you trust this source? Why?
  • - What are the limitations of the data? What additional content would you like to be able to add to this dataset?
  • - What aspect of the dataset do you find interesting/provocative/illuminating? What can be learned from the view(s) presented in your visualization?

– a copy of your dataset in CSV format

– a link to the data source

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