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In this course, author Tom Geller demonstrates how to use the Views module and other add-ons in Drupal to present dynamic, data-rich content. This course examines several real-world examples of effective data visualization and describes the Drupal data-storage model. The course also shows how to create, format, and style views; control access to data; improve data administration with Views Bulk Operations; and display content as custom maps and slide shows.
Finally, we come to our fourth example of data reporting and visualization, the American Red Cross. I chose this one as something to aspire to. The other three examples are all possible based on the knowledge you get in this core. This one takes it a little bit further to a very good effect; you'll find it at redcrossblood.org. The first thing I'll do here is to enter my local zip code. Let's talk about the purpose of this site. It's to encourage and facilitate blood donations.
This is a hyper local activity. I am more likely to donate blood if I can do so without going far out of my way. So I entered my ZIP code and I come to this hyper local page. It shows a calendar of upcoming blood drives near me. So I know that if I want to do it soon, because I'm going on vacation or after a certain date, I can see the ones that are coming up. I also see at the bottom a map which shows exactly the same information. Once again, we have one node serving many views. When I click down at the bottom for find More Blood Drives near 44074, I see yet another view, and this one shows a lot more information.
This actually can be done within views by using something called Exposed Filters as you'll hear about later in the course. Let's go back to our front page and tell it to forget our location, so that we get that map back again. If we click that map, we go to a map of the entire country broken up into regions where the Red Cross is active. You'll notice as I move my mouse over them, it selects what the regions are, and then if I were to click through, it gives me more information about that region. I should mention, this isn't done in Drupal.
This integrates a Flash animation. So you can see that you can mix up your Drupal stuff with stuff that comes from other programs. Now you might be discouraged to learn that you'd need custom programming to do what you saw here. But that's one of the beauties of using an open-source platform like Drupal or for that matter Joomla! Or WordPress. They have highly accessible programming interfaces. So no matter what kind of data reporting and visualization you see online, they can handle it. Although you might have to go a little outside of the normal way of doing things to make it happen.
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