January 24, 2014 – Data and Beauty

This week focuses on data and the beauty that lies within, enjoy.

{Beautiful Data}

Pi is Beautiful
I came across this video by numberphile showing some of the beautiful artwork by Cristian Ilies Vasile created using Pi. If you want to read about it, Martin Krzywinski has a post explaining the art and more examples of Cristian’s work.

The only site I found for Cristian was this store to order prints of his work which I did of course.

Visualizations using D3
Kawandeep Virdee used network visualization to analyze discussions on Reddit which turned out quite beautiful. He made both an online tool and the source code available just for you.

D3 is quickly becoming the tool for making online interactive visualizations. D3 is a javascript library created by Mike Bostock for the NY Times Interactive Group. You can hear an interview of Mike on this Data Stories podcast.

Combining the world of Python and D3, Jake VanderPlasa released the mpld3 toolkit which allows creation of d3 interactives using matplotlib; also includes iPython Notebook integration. I was introduced to iPython Notebooks at last years Strata Conference, it is a really cool tool I need to use more. Strata 2014 is coming up, Feb 11-13 in Santa Clara.

Another useful D3 library is NVD3 which is a library for building standard graphs, such as lines, scatter plots, bar and even pie charts.

Still not convinced, Drew Skau wrote an article why D3 is so great for data visualizations.

Fighting Words about Pie
A different type of pie, Edward Tufte famously dislikes pie charts but Bruce Gabrielle calls him out and says Tufte is flat-out wrong, thems fighting words.

{Data in the News}

{Bits & Bytes}

With all these visualizations, learn the technology that draws these graphics to the screen. Jasper St. Pirre goes deep in understanding the Linux Graphics Stack

Not sure how anyone got fooled by this bit of mathematical tom foolery but it is pretty obvious that summing ever increasing positive numbers will be positive.