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Working with appended text data

From: Interactive Data Visualization with Processing

Video: Working with appended text data

One very common form of data in most visualizations is the use of text data, and in Processing the easiest way to use text data is not by entering it into the sketch itself, but by referring to an external text file. And what I want to show you in this movie is how to access that text and be able to integrate it into a Processing sketch. And begin by just putting a little comment here with the name. And the most important thing I need to do is I need to help Processing locate the file.

Working with appended text data

One very common form of data in most visualizations is the use of text data, and in Processing the easiest way to use text data is not by entering it into the sketch itself, but by referring to an external text file. And what I want to show you in this movie is how to access that text and be able to integrate it into a Processing sketch. And begin by just putting a little comment here with the name. And the most important thing I need to do is I need to help Processing locate the file.

The first thing I am going to do is I am going to go up to the folder that has the file. In this particular case, it's called presidents and it's in the Exercise folder, but it's not in the sketch folder. What I'm going to do is I am going to grab that and drag it into the Processing window, and now you see down at the bottom it says One file added to the sketch. In fact, if we double-click on the folder, we now see that we have the data folder, and it's got the presidents file in it. What I need to do now is I just need to create my window that I am going to be dealing with, and I need to load the file.

The way I do that is as an array of strings. And what happens is Processing looks at each line as a separate string of text, and so the document is a collection of lines; it's a collection of strings. So do String and then the open and closed square brackets to indicate that it's an array. I'll simply call this one presidents. And then the command we want to use is loadStrings. And then in parentheses and in quotations, we put the name of the file and then close that off.

And then the easiest way to check that we have this, if the file isn't too long, is just do a print line, which I'll do right now. And I have an empty display window pop up, but you see that the contents of the file have printed down here below. Now, if I want to put some of this text into a sketch, the easy way to do it is by calling on the string by its index number and placing it within the sketch itself. Before I do that, I'm going to do just a few of the parameters of the sketch. I'm going to put a background color on. In fact, I want to bring in a color palette, which I'll do by going back to here, and I am going to use this one number, 2, crowds. Go back to the sketch and place that at the top.

Then I'll just use the first color in the palette. That's the background color. Next, what I want to do is I am going to want to use a fill color for the text, so I'll do fill. That'll also be palette. I'll just use index number 1 for that one. And then I can start placing the text. So in this case, I just use the text function, and I type in "presidents" and then the line that I want.

So for instance, let's say I want to put Jimmy Carter in there. He is on index 40 in the array, and then I need to put where it gets positioned. Let's go 50 pixels in and 50 pixels down. When I press run on this one, you could see that it shows up. It's a very light font. We've shown before that we have the ability to change fonts by creating a font within Processing; in fact, I'll do that right now. Simply go to Tools, to the first one, Create Font. And all I need here is, oh, that's a good a font as any, so Aharoni-Bold 48.

I'll copy that text right there, press OK, and this will add the font into the data folder. Now, there's a number of variables I need to add to make it use the font, so what I am going to do is I am going to actually comment that one out. I've got this fill here, so I've got the background. I am going to do PFont. That's going to declare a font. I am just going to call it font. And then I need to load into that variable.

I use loadFont. And then in the parentheses and quotes, I put the name of the font. vlw is going to be its extension. And then I say that I am going to use that font for this particular text, textFont (font). And let's just change the color of the font, because we can. I'll go to the next item in the array. I'm going to save that and run it. And now you see we have a much larger version of the name that has gone in there.

Now I have some other options, in terms of placing these. One of the more interesting ones can be placing them in a dynamic nature. I need to make this a dynamic drawing to do that, though. All I need to do is come up here and type in "void setup" and place this text in curly brackets. I should probably put the font information up there as well. There we go. And then down here, I can put this in void draw.

And then if all goes well, I can get the text actually follow the mouse around. I'm going to save that. And I see I need to low the presidents down here, it appears. there we go. And now I can get the information to follow me around as I do it. I could even make it so that it brought in each of the presidents, about one every second as I went through, and I get a sort of a shuffling- through-history effect if we wanted to do that as well.

But mostly I want to let you know that in terms of working with text, the easiest way is to bring it in as a text file and then you set up Processing so that it reads each line of text as a string and the entire file as an array of strings.

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This video is part of

Image for Interactive Data Visualization with Processing
Interactive Data Visualization with Processing

72 video lessons · 12580 viewers

Barton Poulson
Author

 
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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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