Hands-On Data Visualization: Interactive Storytelling From Spreadsheets to Code

Hands-On Data Visualization: Interactive Storytelling From Spreadsheets to Code

Hands-On Data Visualization: Interactive Storytelling From Spreadsheets to Code

Hands-On Data Visualization: Interactive Storytelling From Spreadsheets to Code


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Tell your story and show it with data, using free and easy-to-learn tools on the web. This introductory book teaches you how to design interactive charts and customized maps for your website, beginning with simple drag-and-drop tools such as Google Sheets, Datawrapper, and Tableau Public. You'll also gradually learn how to edit open source code templates like Chart.js, Highcharts, and Leaflet on GitHub.

Hands-On Data Visualization takes you step-by-step through tutorials, real-world examples, and online resources. This practical guide is ideal for students, nonprofit organizations, small business owners, local governments, journalists, academics, and anyone who wants to take data out of spreadsheets and turn it into lively interactive stories. No coding experience is required.

  • Build interactive charts and maps and embed them in your website
  • Understand the principles for designing effective charts and maps
  • Learn key data visualization concepts to help you choose the right tools
  • Convert and transform tabular and spatial data to tell your data story
  • Edit and host Chart.js, Highcharts, and Leaflet map code templates on GitHub
  • Learn how to detect bias in charts and maps produced by others

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492086000
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/18/2021
Pages: 471
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.19(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jack Dougherty is a Professor of Educational Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Professor Dougherty has taught data visualization to undergraduates at Trinity College and to thousands of participants in a global online course. He and his students have partnered with dozens of non-profit organizations, journalists, and researchers to help tell their data stories on the web.

Ilya Ilyankou is an Independent Technologist. Ilya has been working with CTData Collaborative to build data visualization and data exploration tools for Connecticut for two years. He studied Computer Science and Studio Arts at Trinity College, Hartford.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction xiii

Part I Foundational Skills

1 Choose Tools to Tell Your Story 1

Start Sketching Your Data Story 1

Ten Factors When Considering Tools 4

Our Recommended Tools 9

Use a Password Manager 11

2 Strengthen Your Spreadsheet Skills 13

Select Your Spreadsheet Tools 15

Download to CSV or ODS Format 17

Make a Copy of a Google Sheet 19

Share Your Google Sheets 20

Upload and Convert to Google Sheets 21

Geocode Addresses in Google Sheets 23

Collect Data with Google Forms 26

Sort and Filter Data 28

Calculate with Formulas 31

Summarize Data with Pivot Tables 33

Match Columns with VLOOKUP 38

Spreadsheet Versus Relational Database 42

3 Find and Question Your Data 47

Guiding Questions for Your Search 48

Public and Private Data 52

Mask or Aggregate Sensitive Data 56

Open Data Repositories 57

Source Your Data 59

Recognize Bad Data 61

Question Your Data 64

4 Clean Up Messy Data 67

Smart Cleanup with Google Sheets 68

Find and Replace with Blank 69

Transpose Rows and Columns 71

Split Data into Separate Columns 72

Combine Data into One Column 75

Extract Tables from PDFs with Tabula 76

Clean Data with OpenRefine 79

5 Make Meaningful Comparisons 87

Precisely Describe Comparisons 87

Normalize Your Data 90

Beware of Biased Comparisons 93

Part II Building Visualizations

6 Chart Your Data 99

Chart Design Principles 103

Google Sheets Charts 113

Bar and Column Charts 114

Histograms 121

Pie, Line, and Area Charts 126

Datawrapper Charts 131

Annotated Charts 132

Range Charts 137

Scatter and Bubble Charts 139

Tableau Public Charts 146

Scatter Charts with Tableau Public 147

Filtered Line Chart 152

7 Map Your Data 157

Map Design Principles 160

Design Choropleth Colors and Intervals 167

Normalize Choropleth Map Data 176

Point Map with Google My Maps 177

Symbol Point Map with Datawrapper 185

Choropleth Map with Datawrapper 191

Choropleth Map with Tableau Public 200

Current Map with Socrata Open Data 207

8 Table Your Data 215

Table Design Principles 216

Datawrapper Table with Sparklines 218

Other Table-Making Tools 225

9 Embed on the Web 227

Static Image Versus Interactive iframe 228

Get the Embed Code or iframe Tag 231

Paste Code or iframe to a Website 238

Part III Code Templates and Advanced Tools

10 Edit and Host Code with GitHub 245

Copy, Edit, and Host a Simple Leaflet Map Template 247

Convert GitHub Pages Link to iframe 255

Create a New Repo and Upload Files on GitHub 256

GitHub Desktop and Atom Text Editor to Code Efficiently 261

11 Chart.js and Highcharts Templates 275

Bar or Column Chart with Chart.js 277

Error Bars with Chart.js 280

Line Chart with Chart.js 281

Annotated Line Chart with Highcharts 283

Scatter Chart with Chart.js 285

Bubble Chart with Chart.js 287

12 Leaflet Map Templates 291

Leaflet Maps with Google Sheets 294

Leaflet Storymaps with Google Sheets 308

Get Your Google Sheets API Key 321

Leaflet Maps with CSV Data 326

Leaflet Heatmap Points with CSV Data 327

Leaflet Searchable Point Map 329

Leaflet Maps with Open Data APIs 331

13 Transform Your Map Data 335

Geospatial Data and GeoJSON 336

Find GeoJSON Boundary Files 340

Draw and Edit with Geojson.io 341

Edit and Join with Mapshaper 346

Convert Compressed KMZ to KML 358

Georeference with Map Warper 360

Bulk Geocode with US Census 361

Pivot Points into Polygon Data 363

Part IV Telling True, Meaningful Stories

14 Detect Lies and Reduce Bias 369

How to Lie with Charts 371

How to Lie with Maps 382

Recognize and Reduce Data Bias 388

Recognize and Reduce Spatial Bias 392

15 Tell and Show Your Data Story 397

Build a Narrative on a Storyboard 398

Draw Attention to Meaning 402

Acknowledge Sources and Uncertainty 405

Decide on Your Data Story Format 406

Appendix. Fix Common Problems 409

Index 421

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