Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Protovis Visualisation Tool & Google Maps

The Stanford Visualisation Group's 'Protovis' is an open source graphical tool for visualising data. The Protovis website includes a couple examples of the tool using Google Maps.

Minard's Napolean

Charkes Minard was a pioneer of the use of graphics in engineering and statistics. Probably his most famous creation was a flow map showing Napoleon's disastrous Russian campaign of 1812. His map displays:
  • the army's location and direction, showing where units split off and rejoined
  • the declining size of the army
  • the freezing temperatures during the retreat
The Protovis map of Minard's visualisation of the Russian Campaign adds interactivity using Google Maps.

The timeline below the map shows the date and the temperature as Napolean travelled east towards Moscow. The brown line shows the dwindling size of his army and the black lines show where units split off and rejoined the main army.

Oakland Crimespotting

This Google Maps mashup shows crime in Oakland. The coloured circles correspond to crimes. The different colours represent different categories of crime.

Both the Minard Map and the Oakland Crime map have the source code and the data source displayed under the maps.

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