CS 795/895 - Information Visualization
Fall 2012: Tues/Thurs 3-4:15pm, E&CS 2120

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Homework 3: Re-creating Existing Visualization

Assigned: Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012
Due: Tuesday, Oct 2, 2012 before midnight


One good way to learn a new language or tool is to use it to re-implement something that already works.

For this assignment, you'll do something similar to what Nathan Yau did to learn d3. Nathan liked the New York Times graphic How Different Groups Spend Their Day and decided to re-create it using d3. Here's his blog post about his experience.

Your assignment is to take an existing visualization that you like and re-create it using a toolkit that we've discussed.

The key is to find a visualization that has a link to the original data source. I've suggested several visualizations from the Flowing Data blog since he includes links to the original data. Feel free to find your own visualization to re-create - it does not need to be interactive.

Suggested visualizations:

Suggested toolkits:

(Note: Google Visualization API is not allowed.)

Note that you don't have to re-create the visualization exactly, but take the same data and develop a similar visualization.

Write a short report on your experience. Similar to Nathan Yau's blog post, include your impression of the toolkit that you used, problems you faced, tips/tricks for others new to the toolkit. Also describe any changes you made to the original visualization (make sure that you include a link to the original visualization).


Put an electronic version of your visualization and your report (on the same webpage) online at http://www.cs.odu.edu/~username/cs795f12/hw3.html.


I will grade the assignment based on the quality of the developed visualization (how close it is to the original - meaning, does it allow the user to answer/ask the same questions as the original?) and the quality of your report.