Miso: An open source toolkit for data visualisation

Posted to Software  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

Your online visualization options are limited when you don’t know how to program. The Miso Project, a collaboration between The Guardian and Bocoup, is an effort to lighten the barrier to entry.

While the goal is to build a toolkit that makes visualization easier and faster, the first release of the project is Dataset, a JavaScript library to setup the foundation of any good data graphic. If you’ve ever worked with data on the Web, you know there are a variety of (usually painful) steps you have to go through before you actually get to fun stuff. Dataset will help you with the data transformation and and management grunt work.

One of the most common patterns we’ve found while building JavaScript-based interactive content is the need to handle a variety of data sources such as JSON files, CSVs, remote APIs and Google Spreadsheets. Dataset simplifies this part of the process by providing a set of powerful tools to import those sources and work with the data. Once data is in a Dataset, it becomes simple to select, group, and calculate properties of, the data. Additionally, Dataset makes it easy to work with real-time and changing data, which pose one of the more complex challenges to data visualization work.

Gonna keep an eye on this one. I’m curious to see how the visualization component starts to build out.

Favorites

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.