[okfn-labs] Ideas for data mashups and improved visualisation for CKAN
michael.bauer at okfn.org
Thu Jul 25 08:20:32 UTC 2013
Late to the debate - After taking a while to understand what you want to
do, I'd rather side with Friedrich and say: solve one problem well. If you
can provide a well working, clearly documented API, visualizations can
always be added on top of that if the need arises.
I am (when using data portals) rather annoyed by those that offer fancy
graphics and tiny download buttons. I'd rather favor the opposite.
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 04:35:23PM +0200, Friedrich Lindenberg wrote:
> Hey Gavin,
> I think its great you're soliciting input, but would also consider asking
> the ddj and school of data communities, as they are closer to the user end
> of the spectrum. It seems really important to base this off concrete use
> cases rather than the assumption that "people" will want to embed
> "visualizations" to "tell a story" (this doesn't mean anything). In CKANs
> specific case, there's further fun in the fact that I don't know how many
> people would actually be happy to directly embed a visualization from a
> government site - it seems unlikely to me, for example, that many
> journalists would do that.
> I would also note that the best data vis tools I know focus on doing one
> thing and doing it well. Examples include DataWrapper, CartoDB, Sigma.js,
> Timeline.js and most of the other amazing stuff on
> http://selection.datavisualization.ch/. The "we'll glue everything together
> so that normal people can use it" thing hasn't worked for anyone (Socrata,
> Fusion Tables, ... but least of all: for the users). I know this is a great
> temptation, but it's really just an escape into meta-problem-land when
> there are plenty non-meta ones to solve.
> For CKAN, I think there are two tools that I'd love to see personally:
> 1) A really nice JS pivot tables implementation. When you're trying to do
> some exploratory analysis on data, the best thing you can get is a table.
> Even better is a table of aggregates. What I would love to have is a small,
> stand-alone JS library that allows me to pivot, filter and sort some data.
> If this had some flexibility wrt its backend, it would be extra-awesome (OS
> needs this, too). And no, facets are not really the same thing and Recline
> doesn't do that now :)
> 2) A mashup recommender. CKAN has the unique advantage of often holding
> many related datasets, and Martin and I have both done some research into
> whether it could generate recommendations on which of these datasets can be
> combined into a new mashup. I realize this isn't really vis, but it belongs
> into the pipeline and would be pretty useful to help the process.
> - Friedrich
> On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 12:38 PM, Gavin Chait <gavin.chait at okfn.org> wrote:
> > Hi all,
> > We would like to massively improve the data explorer and visualisation
> > functionality on CKAN and are looking at open-source libraries and toolkits
> > we may be able to use.
> > Our brief is as follows:
> > Search and select data from CKAN, overlay datasets the data to create
> > mashups, and present these in an engaging and easy-to-use embeddable visual
> > format. Data would also include geospatial. Data could include transport,
> > air quality, energy usage / resource efficiency, and licensing of premises
> > /
> > planning.
> > There have been some cool new initiatives from infogr.am, Dataseed and
> > Datawrapper.de. There are also some great geospatial visualisation
> > libraries, like Kartograph.
> > Our interest is in open source solutions to look at:
> > 1. Managing diverse data alignment for the mashup;
> > 2. Outputting that data to an embeddable visualisation.
> > We can build on Recline and improve it, or we can work with another
> > existing
> > library that offers us greater flexibility. We don't want to start from
> > scratch, though.
> > We would love to hear your ideas and suggestions as we look to the next
> > generation of CKAN data explorer.
> > Thanks and appreciated
> > Gavin
> > Gavin Chait
> > Head of Services | skype: whythawk | M: +44 (0) 78 9495 7090 | @GavinChait
> > The Open Knowledge Foundation
> > Empowering through Open Knowledge
> > http://okfn.org/
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