Project 2

Shadows in the Rain

Project alpha version due 10/12 at 8:59 pm Chicago time
Project final version due 10/26 at
8:59 pm Chicago time

Project 2 will be the first group project and will focus on geographic data, in particular the paths that hurricanes (tropical cyclones) take in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It will give you experience in plotting data onto maps, in this case using leaflet. The application should help the user investigate where are the most likely places for hurricanes to strike, where the most damaging hurricanes strike, seasonal variation, and trends over time. As with all the projects your app will be evaluated running full screen on the classroom wall.

The standard group size will be 3 or 4 people per group. You can chose who you want to be in a group with. I will create groups on Saturday October 3rd for people that do not form groups on their own. Be sure to take a look at the project 1 web pages to get a better idea of people's abilities as you form your teams. Once you have a team please send Andy an email CC'd to all the team members confirming that you are a group.

You should very quickly set up a web page for your group project and send the URL to andy. The final webpage for the project will be public; the in-process web pages do not need to be public as long as the course instructors have access. Each Friday of the project each team member should post on the project web site an overview of what he/she did on the project that week. This comes in handy when assigning ratings to your collaborators and making sure that everyone is contributing in a timely fashion.

In this project we are going to investigate the paths that hurricanes take, related to the time of year and their destructive potential.

The data for the project comes from:
the Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT2) 1851-2014 and the Northeast and North Central Pacific hurricane database (HURDAT2) 1949-2013  at

Information on the file format:

The primary visualization will be the hurricane path information superimposed over map data with additional information on the strength of the hurricane at that point. Additional graphs will show statistics.

We will use leaflet ( as our map rendering library.

For a C you need to create a useful, responsive interactive visualization with the following features:

For a B you need to add ...

For an A you need to add ...

As with all the projects your app will be evaluated running full screen with touch interaction on the classroom wall.

There are two deadlines for this project. By the first deadline you should have implemented the initial screen layout of your application and have the basic functionality allowing the user to perform an example of the various 'C' functionality. This will make sure that your group is on track and that you can focus on making a good interface and set of visualizations, not just functional ones. Personally, I think you should have the entire C functionality done at that point if you are going for an A on the project as a whole. You should make this version of the interface available on your group project page.

As part of the final turn in you should create a set of web pages that describe your work on the project. This should include:

all of which should have plenty of screenshots with meaningful captions. 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.

Be sure to document any external libraries or tools that you make use of - give credit where credit is due.

You should also create a 2-3 minute YouTube video showing the use of your application including narration with decent audio quality. That video should be in a very obvious place on your main project web page. The easiest way to do this is to use a screen-capture tool while interacting with your application, though you will most likely find its useful to do some editing afterwards to tighten the video up. Its also a good idea to have a video like this available as a backup during your presentation just in case of gremlins.
You may want to shoot this video on the wall itself.

The web page including screen snapshots and video need to be done by the deadline so be sure to leave enough time to get that work done.

I will be linking your web page to the course notes so please send me a nice 1920 x 540 jpg image of your visualization for the web. This should be named p2.<someone_in_your_groups_last_name>.jpg. 

When the project is done, each person in the group should also send Andy a private email with no one else CC'd ranking your coworkers on the project on a scale from 1 (low) to 5 (high) in terms of how good a coworker they were on the project. If you never want to work with them again, give them a 1. If this person would be a first choice for a partner on a future project then give them a 5. If they did what was expected but nothing particularly good or bad then give them a 3. By default your score should be 3 unless you have a particular reason to increase or decrease the number. Please confine your responses to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and no 1/3ds or .5s please. We will average out all these scores for projects 2 through 3 and use them when assigning final grades to projects 2 through 3.

Each group will show their visualization to the class and describe its features. This allows everyone to see a variety of solutions to the problem, and a variety of implementations. Rehearse your presentation ... several times. All team members are expected to participate equally in that presentation.

last revision 9/22/15