Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Animated Data Transitions

Sasaki's Understanding Homelessness is a very impressive data visualization. What makes it so impressive is the way it picks out and explains some of the important stories about homelessness in the United States hidden in the data. One of the main ways that it explores and explains the data is through the use of animated transitions between different types of data visualization. For example, if you switch between the 'map' and 'table' visualizations then the dots (each one representing 5 homeless people) actually fly off the map and rearrange themselves into a table.

To create these animated data transitions Sasaki developed their own data visualization library called Continuity. At the moment Sasaki isn't providing much support for using Continuity but they do say that they are "are working to document and release more components and examples" of Continuity.

Before these components and documentation are released you can see Continuity in action on the Understanding Homelessness map and on Imagine Boston. The Imagine Boston map visualizes a range of demographic, transport and other data about Boston. It uses the Continuity data visualization library to explore and visualize this data. As with the Understanding Homelessness map animated transitions between different types of visualizations are used to help explain some of the stories revealed by the Boston data. Particularly impressive is the racial population data and how you can click on the different races in the racial breakdown table to add that specific demographic to the interactive map.

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