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Interactive Data Visualization with Processing
Illustration by

Using embedded data


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Interactive Data Visualization with Processing

with Barton Poulson

Video: Using embedded data

In order to do data visualization in Processing, the first thing you have to do is actually have data in Processing to work with. The simplest version of this is to actually have the data embedded as an array in the sketch itself, and that's what we're going to start with. We've actually been doing this for quite a while. When we've been using the color information, those are arrays that we've put in. I'm going to show you how we can actually use a data set and then try to draw a depiction of that data. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to just put down the sketch name as a comment.
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  1. 3m 16s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. What you should know
      1m 22s
    3. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 11m 51s
    1. Overview of data visualization
      11m 51s
  3. 11m 53s
    1. Installing Processing
      3m 38s
    2. Overview of Processing
      4m 5s
    3. Exploring libraries
      4m 10s
  4. 1h 1m
    1. Basic setup
      7m 31s
    2. Drawing points
      4m 37s
    3. Drawing lines
      5m 6s
    4. Drawing ellipses and circles
      5m 24s
    5. Drawing arcs
      6m 54s
    6. Drawing rectangles and squares
      4m 58s
    7. Drawing quadrangles
      3m 25s
    8. Drawing triangles
      2m 55s
    9. Drawing polygons
      3m 37s
    10. Drawing simple curves
      4m 54s
    11. Drawing complex curves
      6m 46s
    12. Drawing Bézier curves
      5m 38s
  5. 54m 3s
    1. Introduction to variables
      10m 44s
    2. Understanding variable scope
      6m 53s
    3. Modifying variables
      9m 8s
    4. Creating arrays
      9m 53s
    5. Modifying arrays
      6m 37s
    6. Creating strings
      7m 3s
    7. Modifying strings
      3m 45s
  6. 1h 2m
    1. Incorporating randomness
      7m 59s
    2. Using Perlin noise
      4m 24s
    3. Shuffling with Java
      3m 30s
    4. Specifying line attributes
      8m 2s
    5. Changing placement modes
      5m 45s
    6. Understanding color attributes and functions
      4m 16s
    7. Exploring color spaces
      7m 44s
    8. Using color palettes
      7m 5s
    9. Transforming the grid
      8m 38s
    10. Exploring the attribute matrix
      5m 33s
  7. 52m 7s
    1. Building code blocks
      5m 57s
    2. Writing a while loop
      3m 52s
    3. Using for loops
      5m 35s
    4. Creating conditionals
      14m 50s
    5. Working with easing
      10m 51s
    6. Creating spirals
      11m 2s
  8. 18m 55s
    1. Mouse tracking
      3m 54s
    2. Hovering and clicking
      11m 16s
    3. Understanding keyboard interaction
      3m 45s
  9. 27m 32s
    1. Specifying fonts
      6m 43s
    2. Using images
      5m 51s
    3. Playing a video loop
      6m 20s
    4. Exporting video
      3m 47s
    5. Adding sound
      4m 51s
  10. 20m 49s
    1. Creating functions
      11m 48s
    2. Creating classes and objects
      9m 1s
  11. 31m 10s
    1. Using embedded data
      5m 26s
    2. Working with appended text data
      6m 4s
    3. Working with appended tabular data
      10m 26s
    4. Reading XML data
      9m 14s
  12. 48m 17s
    1. Generating dot plots
      11m 11s
    2. Building scatter plots
      10m 0s
    3. Making line plots
      9m 55s
    4. Creating bar charts
      9m 12s
    5. Checking out examples of maps, hierarchies, and networks
      7m 59s
  13. 20m 57s
    1. Introducing some principles of 2D design
      13m 44s
    2. Understanding color theory
      7m 13s
  14. 24m 46s
    1. Interacting with zooming, rotating, and sliding
      6m 26s
    2. Implementing slicing
      6m 47s
    3. Using rollovers
      5m 58s
    4. Introducing the GUI libraries
      5m 35s
  15. 10m 35s
    1. Sharing via OpenProcessing and other sites
      3m 19s
    2. Saving as a desktop application
      2m 42s
    3. Saving as JavaScript
      1m 47s
    4. Saving as an Android application
      2m 47s
  16. 2m 38s
    1. Where to go from here
      2m 38s

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Interactive Data Visualization with Processing
7h 43m Beginner Sep 25, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Start communicating ideas and diagramming data in a more interactive way. In this course, author Barton Poulson shows how to read, map, and illustrate data with Processing, an open-source drawing and development environment. On top of a solid introduction to Processing itself, this course investigates methods for obtaining and preparing data, designing for data visualization, and building an interactive experience out of a design. When your visualization is complete, explore the options for sharing your work, whether uploading it to specialized websites, embedding the visualizations in your own web pages, or even creating a desktop or Android app for your work.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the need for creative data visualization
  • Drawing basic lines and shapes
  • Introducing variables, strings, and arrays
  • Modifying drawing attributes such as color
  • Making drawings more dynamic with animation loops and spirals
  • Creating keyboard- and mouse-based interactions
  • Adding images, video, and sound
  • Reading in text or XML data
  • Creating plots and charts
  • Publishing and sharing your work
Subjects:
Developer Programming Languages
Software:
Processing
Author:
Barton Poulson

Using embedded data

In order to do data visualization in Processing, the first thing you have to do is actually have data in Processing to work with. The simplest version of this is to actually have the data embedded as an array in the sketch itself, and that's what we're going to start with. We've actually been doing this for quite a while. When we've been using the color information, those are arrays that we've put in. I'm going to show you how we can actually use a data set and then try to draw a depiction of that data. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to just put down the sketch name as a comment.

It is not necessary, but I find it handy. Then I'm going to bring in a palette to work with. I'm going to use this one up here. Just copy it and go back and paste it in. There we go. First I set the window size, size 600 x 200. For the background we will use the palette's first color, index number 0, and we'll turn on the anti-aliasing.

Then what I'm going to do is I'm going to introduce some data in an array, and this is going to be an integer array, because these are all going to be a whole numbers. So, I put int, and then I put the open and closing squar to indicate that it's an array. Then I'm going to give it a name. I'm actually going to use numbers from the Fibonacci sequence. And so I call it the array Fibonacci. And then because I'm entering the data directly into the sketch, I just use curly brackets and I start putting the numbers in. I go 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, and 377. Of course, it's an infinite sequence, but these are all the numbers in the Fibonacci sequence that are less than 600, so this is an reasonable place to work with.

So, I'm going to use a curly bracket to close it and a semicolon to finish it off. So, that's my data array. It's a very small amount of data, but it's enough for our particular purpose is. Then what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to draw a bunch of marks on my window to indicate the data. I am going to use a for loop for this. That's probably the easiest way to do it. So, I do for, and then I have my initialization statement. I'm going to use the local variable i, start at 0. And then as long as i is less than the length of the Fibonacci array--and then I put in curly brackets what I want it to draw.

And once I have my loop set up, I can put the code inside that I want to repeat for every item in the array. What I'm going to do is I'm first going to set the stroke to the index number 1 in the color array. Then I'm going to set this strokeWeight to 2 pixels. Then I'm going to create a variable x to get the x coordinate for each one, and that's just going to be based off of each item in the array, and I do that with the index number.

And then I put the function in for an ellipse. And then I save that and run it and there we have. Now, you'll see there are a couple things going on here. Number one is, the stuff is really jammed over at the left end. One way of dealing with that is to make the shapes somewhat transparent, and that can be a neat effect, so I'm going to do that right here. And in fact, I think what I'm going to do is I'm temporally going to turn off the stroke and I'll replace that with noStroke.

And then we'll get down to the fill. What I'm going to do is I'm going to specify a fill. Let's make it the second item in the palette, but let's make it very transparent. So, let's try 50 on the 0 to 255 scale. Now, when we do that, it gets a lot ghostlier, but you can see that things are building up at the left end. And so there are times when using transparency can be a very helpful way of allowing people to see layered data.

There is probably a better way in this particular situation though-- I'll close this window--and that is instead of using ellipses, we draw lines. And so now I'll bring in the line function, line x. I'm going to start at about 75 pixels down. Then we'll go to x. Then we'll go to 125 pixels, and that should be enough. And now what we have is, because of the lines, they're vertical and they are kind of tall, they still have prominence, but because they're thinner than the ellipses are, it doesn't have quite that pile-up problem that it used to.

I think though, I might change the strokeWeight, and I'll just turn this off so it will be back at the default 1, and that works even a little bit better. And the idea here as you can see how the Fibonacci sequence is increasing dramatically as it goes through. Anyhow, this is our first way of dealing with embedded data in a representation of that data, and this is our first data visualization in Processing.

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