Wednesday, February 24, 2010

eXplorer Publish "Vislets"

eXplorer has so far focused on tools that analyze and explore statistical data to discover trends and patterns. eXplorer now also addresses challenges in support of an integrated editorial and related authoring process with the goal to advance research critical to educational production and publishing. NCVA now introduces eXplorer Publisher for Web enabled publication of temporal and multidimensional statistical data, facilitating a seamless integrated authoring tool (eXplorer) and storytelling mechanism including automatic generation of HTML code to be embedded as a dynamic visualization with associate metadata “Vislet” into blogs, wikis etc. See embedded OECD EU demonstrator below.

This novel “storytelling” framework provides means for the analyst and author to:
  • Select any spatio-temporal and multidimensional national or sub-national statistical data
  • Explore and discern trends and patterns
  • Orchestrate and describe metadata
  • Collaborate with colleagues to confirm
  • Publish essential gained insight and knowledge embedded as dynamic visualization “Vislet” in blogs or wikis with associate metadata
storytelling loop
Figure: The analyst (author) uses eXplorer to 1) import any national or sub-national statistical data, 2) explore and make discoveries through trends and patterns and derive insight. Gained knowledge is the foundation for 3) creating a story that can be 4) shared with colleagues and reach consensus and trust. The visual discoveries are captured into snapshots together with descriptive metadata and hyperlinks in relation to the analytics reasoning. The author gets feedback from colleagues, adopts the story and 5) finally publishes “tell-a-story” to the community using a “Vislet” that is embedded in blogs or wikis.
This seamless integration (figure) of an authoring, storytelling and publishing solution is based on experience and prototypes developed by NCVA during the last decade and can now advance the state of the art in statistical geovisualization publishing facilitating:
  • Authoring: data provider (spreadsheet and database), data manager, choropleth map, scatter plot, table lens, parallel coordinates plot (PCP), time graph, data grid, coordinated views, map layers, analytic tools (dynamic query, filter, regional categorization, profiles, highlight, motion charts), advanced dynamic colour scale and legend, create HTML code for Vislet.
  • Storytelling: snapshot mechanism, metadata with hyperlinks, story and chapters, edit, capture, save, export story, embed story.
  • Vislet: embeddable interactive motion visual representations based on statistical data including choropleth map, scatter plot, parallel coordinates (profile plot), table lens and metadata for publishing in blog, wikis etc. HTML code that characterizes the story-to-be-told is automatically created by the eXplorer authoring tool.

eXplorer storytelling tool

Figure: From creating a time-dependent story with the authoring tool “OECD eXplorer” to a published Vislet embedded in a Web page with dynamic temporal visualization, associate metadata and hyperlinks. This three-step approach that seamless integrates tools for “story authoring” and “story telling” provides an educational platform for analysts to publish interactive temporal statistics news.

Test an embedded dynamic Vislet  showing ageing population in EU 1990-2008

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