First Attempt in Visualizing Data using Processing

with 4 comments

note:  The first 20 seconds of the video doesn’t have much activity since it is really early to cycle.

After an intensive term with R, it was time to move slightly away from the world of geographic data to a more abstract visualizations with processing. The above video is the first attempt in doing so. The work was done as a coursework for Digital Visualization course with Dr. Martin Z Austwick, Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL.

The base data is a CSV file, extracted from the Barclay’s cycle hire feed provided by Transport for London on 25th December. It has the information on each journey made with the bikes pertaining to the location and time of origin and destination and the total duration of the journey. The whole CSV is loaded in processing and parsed to make a array of instance objects with the information of location, time and weather it is a ‘hire’ or ‘return’. then the array is visualized according to a timer event which progress through every frame.

In the final visualization shown above, the dots represents the relative locations of bike docks at which the bikes are hired or returned and the color of the dots show if it is hire (green) or return (red). Since the animation is cumulative(builds upon as time progresses), brighter spots indicates more activity than the darker ones and the scale of the color from red to green shows if the location is more of a destination or an origin for the trips. The timer shows the number of minutes elapsed from 00.00 Hrs.

Though it is not much informative at present, the visualization shows the potential of Processing as a tool to visualize complex data sets in a more digestible form.

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4 Responses

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  1. Couldn’t make out much what the video was trying to show even wit the attached explanation.
    The colour choice made it look like a slow video of out-of-focus Diwali lights.

    Achaya

    February 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm

  2. This is just an abstract visualization of a huge data-set (65000 data points). Every time some one hires a cycle from a docking station or returns a cycle to a docking station, the map here lights up with a faint green or red dot at the relative location of the docking station. So that the visualization shows where the cycles are hired and returned (relatively) at a given minute. Also since the lights does not die out, they keep on building upon each other so that the docks with highest activity glow brighter at the end of the day than the less used ones. Hope this explains the sketch better.

    I know that it doesn’t make much sense to view a geographic visualization without any reference (a base map, scale or north) but since it was the first time I did this kind of work, I didn’t bother. The video just shows that there is a potential to perceive rows and rows of monotonous real data in very different ways than just making graphs and charts out of them.

    BTW, I just made a better one from the same data set, which I am planning to post here after getting it reviewed tomorrow. I am sure that this sketch will make much more sense once you see the latest one.

    sbmkvp

    February 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm

  3. a map as an underlay would have been a better explanation and aid or maybe just a borderline graphic like the insat images…
    interesting stuff… data interpretation…

    textonym

    February 6, 2013 at 5:41 am

  4. sbmkvp

    February 8, 2013 at 12:04 am


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