Blog Archives

Running “Native” Data Wrangling Applications in the Browser – IPython Notebooks (and R?) in Chrome

August 22, 2014
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Running “Native” Data Wrangling Applications in the Browser – IPython Notebooks (and R?) in Chrome

Using browser based data analysis toolkits such as pandas in IPython notebooks, or R in RStudio, means you need to have access to python or R and the corresponding application server either on your own computer, or running on a remote server that you have access to. When running occasional training sessions or workshops, this

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Opening Up Access to Data: Why APIs May Not Be Enough…

August 11, 2014
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Opening Up Access to Data: Why APIs May Not Be Enough…

Last week, a post on the ONS (Office of National Statistics) Digital Publishing blog caught my eye: Introducing the New Improved ONS API which apparently “mak things much easier to work with”. Ooh… exciting…. maybe I can use this to start hacking together some notebooks?:-) It was followed a few days later by this one

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F1 Doing the Data Visualisation Competition Thing With Tata?

July 2, 2014
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F1 Doing the Data Visualisation Competition Thing With Tata?

Sort of via @jottevanger, it seems that Tata Communications announces the first challenge in the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize to extract and present new information from Formula One Management’s live data feeds. (The F1 site has a post Tata launches F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize dated “10 Jun 2014″? What’s that about then?) Tata Communications are

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Recreational Data: Data Golf

May 23, 2014
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Recreational Data: Data Golf

I’m still hopeful of working up the idea of recreational data as a popular pastime activity with a regular column somewhere and a stocking filler book each Christmas (?!;-), but haven’t had much time to commit to working up some great examples lately:-( However, here’s a neat idea – data golf – as described in

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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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