— Forest and the Trees


Don’t forget to vote today if you live in Massachusetts. Scott Brown is a bad man who, like all Republicans, hates children and puppies. So, vote for Martha Coakley.

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I’ll be giving a talk on Flex Charting next week at NEIA. Please attend.

Here’s the description…

Intro to Flex Charting

Flex Charting is a pain in the ass to use. It’s very easy to create a simple chart but gets more and more difficult the more you want to customize. During this talk, we will start with a simple chart and add more and more features and functionality. By the end you should have a basic understanding of the Flex charting classes. Time permitting, we will discuss some other Flex data visualization libraries and some tips and tricks for making complex charts. Our sample data set will be Michael Jackson’s Number 1 hits, so if nothing else, you will learn something about the King of Pop.

Wednesday, October 28
7:15 – 9:00
Room 1001-1002 on Center Campus The New England Institute of Art 10 Brookline Place West Brookline, MA 02445 Brookline Village Stop on the MBTA D Greenline

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Nathan over at flowingdata is now selling posters. They’re cool. And you should give him money just for maintaining his excellent blog.

If you like data posters, history shots is cool too.

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He’s the man. There are lots of fancy data visualizations on the web, but, his are the best. Simple, powerful, important messages conveyed through charts. Here’s his presentation to the state department. Oh yeah – he’s also really funny and can swallow swords.

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Adobe released a new sdk for Flex which fixes a cross-scripting security threat. So, you download the sdk, unzip it, create a new directory for 3.4.0 in your flex sdks directory. Also extract the data viz zip and put its files in the appropriate directories in the 3.4.0 directory that you just added. (You could do this different ways as well.)

Then in Flex Builder, right click on a project, choose Properties, Flex Compiler, Configure Flex SDKs. And add your new SDK.

So, pretty sure there are plenty of posts on how to do the above. But, now you need to extract the DataViz source. This post explains that. And here’s what you can copy and paste into Terminal to get it to work if you’re on a mac.

java -jar “/Applications/Adobe Flex Builder 3 Plug-in/sdks/3.4.0/lib/DMV-source.jar” “/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flex” “/Applications/Adobe Flex Builder 3 Plug-in/sdks/3.4.0″

The blog changes the straight quotes to curly quotes, so, you’ll probably have to change that.

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Just saw this post from Matt Chotin. Looks like no big changes to the Flex Charts, which is a bummer. However, I also came across this post (easy axis inversion in 4), which leads me to believe some changes have been made. I’d love to see a complete list of improvements, but, can’t seem to find anything. I will buy you a beer at the next beerfug, if you know of such a list. (I also promise to finally get the beerfug blog up and running before the next meeting. Blink tags are only funny for maybe 2 months.)

Here are some more links w/ info on charts.
Render Direction property on Pie Charts
More on the reversing axis direction.
Info on new filter functions for chart items.

Thanks to Sangavi for the links.

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This has been blogged a few different places. But, it’s really exciting. The Federal government not only made a dashboard to illustrate how IT dollars are being spent, but, also provides the data to the public. Sure, the dashboard isn’t the best w/ gauges and 3d effects, but, whatever. Government transparency!!

Other posts:
Tim O’Reilly

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Bill Scott’s presentation on designing web interfaces is great. I’ll be buying his book. (via DashboardSpy)

I just ran across datavisualization.ch. Add it to your must reads (along w/ infosthetics and flowing data. And so many more.)

Spent some time going through this flickr set.

And watched this video of Manuel Lima from Visual Complexity.

Also, there’s a Flex Data Visualization contest.

Holy shit. It appears people actually (finally, thank god) care about data visualization. For the first time, I don’t think you can keep track of all the examples (and still have time for work). I remember when Public APIs hit that point maybe 3 or 4 years ago. Exciting.

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Not Flash (or Flex – OMG! FlexBuilder is now FlashBuilder! – really, who cares?) but, these are pretty sweet. FlipFlopFlyBall.

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Oakland Crime Spotting time selector is great.

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