Project 1

Bridge over Troubled Water

Project 1 will be an individual project to give people practice with writing an application in processing and get everyone ready to contribute to the group projects to come.

The project will focus on a recreation of the John Snow cholera map but this time focusing on an interactive version of the map with additional related dynamic data. In this case the data is already pre-processed to be an appropriate size and in an easily readable form. You also know what 'the answer' is so you can concentrate on the visualization side of things. Those assumptions won't hold true for the later assignments.

I will provide you with several datafiles. These include a vector map of the area and the locations of the dead and a set of randomized dates.

The datafiles are located at:

More data on the original versions of these files can be found  here:

I modified the format a bit and added in a randomized sex and age of the victims based on data from the Naples cholera outbreak in 1884.

The data files include:
    age 0-10     0
       11-20     1
       21-40     2
       41-60     3
       61-80     4
        > 80     5

    male 0, Female 1

another piece of potentially useful information is the percentage of people in each age group in general during that time as the percentages of people of different ages who died may not be the same as the general population. I haven't found any data for London at that time, but US census data from 1850 at gives the following breakdown, so we will assume the same breakdown for London:

     0-10     28%
     11-20    25%
     21-40    30%
     41-60    13%
     61-80     4%
      > 80     1%

You will be creating a web page that embeds a processing window that lets a user investigate this data. This web page should be viewable under Explorer, Safari, and Firefox. The application should have obvious and intuitive controls.

For a C you need ...

For a B you need to add ...

For an A you need to add ...

You should start by getting processing installed and doing some initial tests to load in the data and start displaying it. The Visualizing Data texbook has some nice discussions and sample code.

You should then start to draw some sketches of what the interface might  look like and how you want to arrange and display the data. How are you going to make use of the screen real-estate. All of the different visualizations you use should be visible simultaneously.

What kinds of charts are you going to use for the various data. One good starting point for that is:

You should create a web page that describes your work on the project including an embedded processing window (with a max size of 1280 by 700) and a link to a gzipped file containing the source code and all other necessary files to make it run locally. This well organized page should function as a README file and describe the features that you implemented along with any special features that you added. It should include screenshots of all the major features.

I will be linking this web page to the course notes so please send me a nice 1024 x 768 jpg image of your visualization for the web. This should be named p1.<your_last_name>.jpg.

Web pages like this can be very helpful later on in helping you build up a portfolio of your work when you start looking for a job so please put some effort into it.

We will take one class period to look through these visualizations so everyone can see a variety of solutions to the problem, and a variety of implementations. You will be expected to talk about your work.

last revision 8/31/09