Data Visualization Projects

Class Blog, Fall 2017

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 16.47.47.png

Phase 3 Final Project Updates, Dec 10

We decided to use participant Dan's data set for the final visualization. 

  • The process of mashing Dan's motion captured Data

I used Autodesk MotionBuilder to mash Dan's motion captured data("Take 2017-08-12 12.15.04 AM.fbx")  with the model I created with Mixamo ( Ideally, the model should look like Dan, but we don't know how Dan looks like.) 

MotionBuilder 2017   - 64 bit TRIAL VERSION - C__Users_willhsu7_Desktop_DAN_animate.fbx 12_6_2017 2_11_39 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 00.59.33.png

The mashing went quite well after some try and error, but it did not go exactly the same way in Unity. 

  • The Process of sorting Dan's Experiments' Data 

I also tried to sort out the information from those experiments data set with Apple's Numbers, which we will also integrate into the final visualization. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 00.54.09.png

Fascinating :  A relaxed interest in a topic / Heartbeats per min Avg 82 / less than 57 % of the overall range of attention, greater than 53 % of the overall range for relaxation

Powerful : Intensity, the lasting impact of the experience / Heartbeats per min Avg 84 / greater than 44% of the overall range of attention, greater than 54% of the overall range for relaxation

Restorative : Open-mindedness. Associated with an individual being attracted to a topic, but not alarmed. / Heartbeats per min Avg 77 / less than 44% of the overall range of attention, less than 53 % of the overall range for relaxation

Stimulating : Associated with an individual being more attentive than they are relaxed. / Heartbeats per min Avg 82 /  greater than 50% of the overall range of attention, less than 53% of the overall range for relaxation

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 00.54.46.png

Project Updates & Viacom Field Trip, Dec 7  

Phase 3 Project updates :

This week we tried to follow this tutorial for data visualization in Unity ( But somehow we ran into some difficulties, like the data was imported as text format, but the scripts were not working, nothing showed up on the screen, and also having some issues with the different version of Unity.

So we then came out this new iteration of visualization, instead of importing and reading all the data set in Unity, we want to make some counting and analyzing in Excel first, like what are the averages of the heart rates, how many times the participant have different emotions, and integrated with their motion data into Unity, also trying to make it interactive. ( As the sketch showed )The purpose of this visualization is mainly make it easier to compare the different status from the participants reactions in different stories and devices. And we’re thinking about showing the visualization on a tablet e.g: iPad.


Good Vis and Bad Vis, Nov 16

Group Slides:

  • Good Visualization: 

Interactive Map: The Flow of International Trade

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 23.15.56.png

Clean visual aesthetic

Consistent scales




  • Bad Visualization : 

Bad Math : Total NOT 100%...

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 23.22.31.png

Bad Scale : Confusing time scale

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 23.22.26.png

Associated Press “Immersive Engagement Study” Community Partner Project

Inspirations for Phase 3 Project:

What kinds of data visualizations can help them? 

3D Spaces, Comparison (Devices, Stories), Different Level Concentration


Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 23.32.45.png
Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 23.32.53.png
Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 23.34.26.png

Quick Prototype For Potential Phase 3 Project Visualization: 

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 23.19.25.png

NYSCI, New York Hall of Science Visiting


Connected Worlds

"Connected Worlds" is a large immersive interaction installation with six ecosystems. The immersive environment of this installation is a digital projection, which has a digital waterfall and the virtual stream that would flow to six ecosystems. For the interactions, children could use the logs around the floor to reroute the stream to those six environments and the environments would response either become flourished or drought. Children could also use their hand gestures, waving in front of ecosystem to create seeds and plant trees in different scales. So those ecosystems are kind of managed by the children and the river is distributed by the children, which let them learn about one local changes might effect to other areas, then a global scale changes. 

We really had a good time playing with the rerouting streams and planting a lot of seeds in different ecosystems. The interactions they designed made me think of how people could interact with different data sets. If we visualize a data set and allow people to have the freedom to play with, and learn the contexts behind that data set, that would be really useful and also entertaining. In addition, I realized using an immersive environment would make people more engaged to the activity and they would feel more natural to interact with the environment. When I was there, I could see not only children but also adults were really having fun playing with this interactive ecosystem.     



Mathematica Section


For the Mathematica Section, it showcased a lot of different types of interactive installations of mathematic. People could explore the impacts and beauty of math through playing so many installations and models. I felt it interesting that mathematic is something abstract and hard to understand, and those physical and digital installations are trying to interpret the concepts and contexts behind mathematic and let people to interact with them. For instance, some difficult equations and formula could be transferred into a more visual and graphic style. I think this approach shares the similar context with data visualization --- they visualized the mathematic formula into graphic just like people visualize complex data set into diagrams and charts. The purpose is letting people to better understand and learn the abstract concepts. The thing I found out in Mathematica Section was they used many different ways to interpret the abstract ideas, like graphics, colors, lights and interaction design. I think those approaches could also be used in visualizing data.  

Reflection : Virtual Reality For Data Visualization

As Oculus annual developer summit “Oculus Connect 4” ended last week, we not only saw more new cool VR (Virtual Reality) projects, new headsets, and also more challenges ahead. This year, the event had more than a hundred speakers addressing a range of topics across Development, Design, Distribution and the Future of VR. I went to San Jose, California for the event, and overall it was pretty fun, and I realized there were a lot more we could do in VR, including data  visualization. 

During the Keynote, Mark Zuckerberg shared his vision for VR, announcing he and his team want to get a billion people in virtual reality in the future. Throughout the summit, we could see the company is working on its best to make VR easier to use and plan to provide more accessible, low costing headsets. The move showed people that VR is going to be something more common and accessible in the coming years.  

Those features are what I found after participating the conference and trying different demos that related to data visualization. Even though gaming is still dominated a huge portion in VR, but I am really excited to see more applications in other uses. 

During the Keynote, Oculus introduced their new features --- Oculus Dash

During the Keynote, Oculus introduced their new features --- Oculus Dash

Virtual Computing Platform
This is a new feature for Oculus. For the softwares updated, besides Oculus re-designed its Oculus Home, letting people customize the Home page in their ways, they also announced a new feature — Oculus Dash. Oculus Dash is a Minority Report-style pop-up dock interface, allowing people to use their desktop’s app in VR. Oculus is going to turn VR into a computing platform, and that enables a lot of new opportunites for people to work in VR.
So if virtual world could run more application that means people could manage a lot of data in VR, not only on their laptop. People could literally work in virtual environment in the future. Imagine when we had a VR version’s Tableau, we could visualize and analyze data in 3 dimensions. 

Visualizing Data In VR
I went to a track “Art + Algorithms: Oculus Medium, Data Visualization, and Developing in VR", and the speaker David Farrell is a graphic programmer in Oculus Medium. Oculus Medium is an immersive VR experience that lets people sculpt, model, paint, and create tangible objects in a VR environment. 
The idea he talked about was creating 3D content in VR is better than doing it on a 2D monitor, which I really agreed with. He and his team have realized VR is also better for developing 3D data structures and algorithms. Being able to walk freely through different data set and use your hands to manipulate in VR frees people from the cognitive overhead of translating from 2D back to 3D. By immersing ourselves in the data, we can take advantage of the greater space on offer, more natural interactions, and analyze multi-dimensional data in a visceral way. I believe with the advantages of visualizing data in VR could bring a whole new way for us to understand a data visualization's context. 


“Art + Algorithms: Oculus Medium, Data Visualization, and Developing in VR"  by  David Farrell

“Art + Algorithms: Oculus Medium, Data Visualization, and Developing in VR" by David Farrell


Phase 1 Project

Dataset: NYC Social Media Usage from NYC OpenData

Twitter and Facebook statistics from various NYC agencies and organizations. 

Visualization In Tableau:!/

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 16.15.19.png
Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 14.08.46.png
Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 14.12.59.png

Phase 1 Project Practices

For Phase 1, I used NYC Open Data for my data set source, because I am interested in data related to the place we're living in. So I decided to explore a little about the data source and see what data set I would use. To be honest, I think trying to find the right data set you want is one of the difficult part of the process. I spent a lot of time searching for the data set I'm interested in and also good for working. I picked two data sets to be my practice on using Tableau, one is "NYC 1995 Street Tree Census", and another one is "Water Consumption in NYC". I'm not sure they will be my phase 1 final data set or not, but trying to visualize those data set in Tableau is fun and interesting. Seeing those numbers turn into diagrams, bars and lines makes me feel accomplished. 

1. Data Set: 1995 Street Tree Census

Citywide street tree data from the 1995 Street Tree Census, conducted by volunteers organized by NYC Parks & Recreation. Trees were inventoried by address, and were collected from 1995-1996. Data collected includes tree species, diameter, condition.

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 03.17.02.png

Tableau Simple Visualization Practices

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 03.14.13.png
Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 03.15.34.png

2. Data Set: Water Consumption In The New York City

A brief history of water consumption in the New York City Water Supply System (Based on New York City Census population)

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 02.47.25.png

Tableau Simple Visualization Practices 

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 02.47.34.png
Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 02.52.54.png

Data Visualization Toolkit Research 




Tableau has a very large customer base across many industries due to its simplicity of use and ability to produce interactive visualizations far beyond those provided by general BI solutions. It is particularly well suited to handling the huge and very fast-changing datasets which are used in Big Data operations, including artificial intelligence and machine learning applications, thanks to integration with a large number of advanced database solutions including Hadoop, Amazon AWS, My SQL, SAP and Teradata. Extensive research and testing has gone into enabling Tableau to create graphics and visualizations as efficiently as possible, and to make them easy for people to understand.

  • Who invented?

Chris Stolte, Pat Hanarhan, Christian Chabot

  • When was it created?

January 2003

From Stanford University Computer Science department


Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 15.03.20.png 

DataBasic is a suite of simple web-based tools for the beginner working with data. The tools are geared towards journalists, non-profits, activist groups and students. Rather than just building data tools to make a pretty charts, DataBasic is designed these with learners in mind and provide more fun for the learners. 



NYC Open Data

NYC Open Data provides an opportunity to engage New Yorkers in the information that is produced and used by City government. The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) partner to form the Open Data team. It's a place we can find out where can we find public Wi-Fi in the neighborhood, what kind of tree is in front of your office..and more. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 12.06.28.png


Unity - 3D Game Engine


Data Visualization in Virtual Reality