Blog Archives

Visualising Pandas DataFrames With IPythonBlocks – Proof of Concept

March 26, 2014
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Visualising Pandas DataFrames With IPythonBlocks – Proof of Concept

A few weeks ago I came across IPythonBlocks, a Python library developed to support the teaching of Python programming. The library provides an HTML grid that can be manipulated using simple programming constructs, presenting the outcome of the operations in a visually meaningful way. As part of a new third level OU course we’re putting

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Experimenting With R – Point to Point Mapping With Great Circles

March 24, 2014
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Experimenting With R – Point to Point Mapping With Great Circles

I’ve started doodling again… This time, around maps, looking for recipes that make life easier plotting lines to connect points on maps. The most attractive maps seem to use great circles to connect one point with another, these providing the shortest path between two points when you consider the Earth as a sphere. Here’s one

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Recreational Data

March 21, 2014
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Recreational Data

Part of my weekend ritual is to buy the weekend papers and have a go at the recreational maths problems that are Sudoku and Killer. I also look for news stories with a data angle that might prompt a bit of recreational data activity… In a paper that may or may not have been presented

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Quoting Tukey on Visual Storytelling with Data

January 23, 2014
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Quoting Tukey on Visual Storytelling with Data

Time was when I used to be a reasonably competent scholar, digging into the literature chasing down what folk actually said, and chasing forward to see whether claims had been refuted. Then I fell out of love with the academic literature – too many papers that said nothing, too many papers that contained errors, too

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Using One Programming Language In the Context of Another – Python and R

January 22, 2014
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Using One Programming Language In the Context of Another – Python and R

Over the last couple of years, I’ve settled into using R an python as my languages of choice for doing stuff: R, because RStudio is a nice environment, I can blend code and text using R markdown and knitr, ggplot2 and Rcharts make generating graphics easy, and reshapers such as plyr make wrangling with data

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Setting Axis Limits on ggplot Charts

December 3, 2013
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Setting Axis Limits on ggplot Charts

I’ve been doodling some chart in R/ggplot using geom_text() to generate a labelled scatterplot. The chart actually builds up several layers using different datasets, so it’s not obvious how to set the ranges cleanly: I know the lower bound I want for the y-axis (y=0), but I want to let the upper bound float. There’s

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Data Textualisation – Making Human Readable Sense of Data

November 18, 2013
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Data Textualisation – Making Human Readable Sense of Data

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but whilst many of us may get a pre-attentive gut reaction reading from a data set visualised using a chart type we’re familiar with, how many of us actually take the time to read a chart thoroughly and maybe verbalise, even if only to ourselves, what the

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Local Council Spending Data – Time Series Charts

November 6, 2013
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Local Council Spending Data – Time Series Charts

In What Role, If Any, Does Spending Data Have to Play in Local Council Budget Consultations? I started wondering about the extent to which local spending transparency data might play a role in supporting consultation around new budgets. As a first pass, I’ve popped up a quick application up at http://glimmer.rstudio.com/psychemedia/iwspend2013_14/ (shiny code here). You

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Generating d3js Motion Charts from rCharts

November 4, 2013
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Generating d3js Motion Charts from rCharts

Remember Gapminder, the animated motion chart popularised by Hans Rosling in his TED Talks and Joy of Stats TV programme? Well it’s back on TV this week in Don’t Panic – The Truth About Population, a compelling piece of OU/BBC co-produced stats theatre featuring Hans Rosling, and a Pepper’s Ghost illusion brought into the digital

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Negative Payments in Local Spending Data

August 17, 2013
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Negative Payments in Local Spending Data

In anticipation of a new R library from School of Data data diva @mihi_tr that will wrap the OpenSpending API and providing access to OpenSpending.org data directly from within R, I thought I’d start doodling around some ideas raised in Identifying Pieces in the Spending Data Jigsaw. In particular, common payment values, repayments/refunds and “balanced

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