Articles by Tony Hirst

Code as Magic, and the Vernacular of Data Wrangling Verbs

February 11, 2015 | 0 Comments

It’s been some time now since I drafted most of my early unit contributions to the TM351 Data management and analysis course. Part of the point (for me) in drafting that material was to find out what sorts of thing we actually wanted to say and help identify the ...
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Rediscovering Formula One Race Battlemaps

January 31, 2015 | 0 Comments

A couple of days ago, I posted a recipe on the F1DataJunkie blog that described how to calculate track position from laptime data. Using that information, as well as additional derived columns such as the identity of, and time to, the cars immediately ahead of and behind a particular ...
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Calculating Churn in Seasonal Leagues

January 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

One of the things I wanted to explore in the production of the Wrangling F1 Data With R book was the extent to which I could draw on published academic papers for inspiration in exploring the the various results and timing datasets. In a chapter published earlier this week, I ... [Read more...]

Book Extras – Data Files, Code Files and a Dockerised Application

January 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

Idling through the LeanPub documentation last night, I noticed that they support the ability to sell digital extras, such as bundled code files or datafiles. Along with the base book sold at one price, additional extras can be bundled into packages alongside the original book and sold at another (higher) ...
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Custom Gridlines and Line Guides in R/ggplot Charts

January 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

In the last quarter of last year, I started paying more attention to the use of custom grid lines and line guides in charts I’ve been developing for the Wrangling F1 Data With R book. The use of line guides was in part inspired by canopy views from within ...
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Sketching Scatterplots to Demonstrate Different Correlations

December 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

Looking just now for an openly licensed graphic showing a set of scatterplots that demonstrate different correlations between X and Y values, I couldn’t find one. So here’s a quick R script for constructing one, based on a Cross Validated question/answer (Generate two variables with precise pre-specified ...
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Identifying Position Change Groupings in Rank Ordered Lists

December 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

The title says it all, doesn’t it?! Take the following example – it happens to show race positions by driver for each lap of a particular F1 grand prix, but it could be the evolution over time of any rank-based population. The question I had in mind was – how can ...
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Information Density and Custom Chart Designs

November 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

I’ve been doodling today with a some charts for the Wrangling F1 Data With R living book, trying to see how much information I can start trying to pack into a single chart. The initial impetus came simply from thinking about a count of laps led in a particular ...
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F1 Championship Race, 2014 – Winning Combinations…

November 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

As we come up to the final two races of the 2014 Formula One season, the double points mechanism for the final race means that two drivers are still in with a shot at the Drivers’ Championship: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. As James Allen describes in Hamilton closes in on ...
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Wrangling F1 Data With R – F1DataJunkie Book

October 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

Earlier this year I started trying to pull together some of my #f1datajunkie R-related ramblings together in a book form. The project stalled, but to try to reboot it I’ve started publishing it as a living book over on Leanpub. Several of the chapters are incomplete – with TO ... [Read more...]

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

August 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

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[es] things much easier to work with”. Ooh… exciting…. maybe I can use this to start hacking together some notebooks?:-) It was followed ... [Read more...]

F1 Doing the Data Visualisation Competition Thing With Tata?

July 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

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 ... [Read more...]

Recreational Data: Data Golf

May 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

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 ... [Read more...]

Visualising Pandas DataFrames With IPythonBlocks – Proof of Concept

March 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

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 ... [Read more...]

Experimenting With R – Point to Point Mapping With Great Circles

March 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

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 ... [Read more...]

Recreational Data

March 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

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 ... [Read more...]

Quoting Tukey on Visual Storytelling with Data

January 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

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 ... [Read more...]
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