• Boston Data Vis + MapD

    CGIS South 020, Harvard University

    Please join Boston Data Vis, MapD, and the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis for a joint event exploring the application of MapD's analytics and visualization platform. Pizza will be provided courtesy of MapD. Please note the location of this event (CGIS S020, Harvard University). Thanks to MapD for sponsoring the event and Harvard CGA for providing the venue! Seating is limited - please only RSVP if you know you are attending the event: https://goo.gl/wJ84dT Brief overview: Aaron Williams, MapD; Josh Lieberman, Harvard; Devika Kakkar, Harvard Topic: Speed and Interactivity: How We Visualized the National Water Model (NWM) Predictions MapD has collaborated with researchers at the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis to provide true interactive access to NWM predictions for stream flow and ground saturation across the entire continental US. Predictions can be viewed prospectively, “how will conditions change going forward?” as well as retrospectively, “how did condition predictions evolve up to any given present?” This talk will cover a brief intro to MapD’s GPU-based analytics platform and how it has advanced the visualization and analysis of geospatial data, using the NWM as a use case. --- Agenda: 6:00 pm: Check-in, grab pizza and drinks, meet speakers and other Boston Visualization Data community members 6:30 pm: Opening from Meetup Organizer Intro to GPU-based analytics, including MapD’s open source SQL engine Demonstration of the NWM predictions from the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis 7:20 pm: Q&A 7:40 pm: Networking

  • Boston Datavis 2018: Works in Progress

    CIC Cambridge

    • What we'll do Hi friends, We are starting this group back up again after a prolonged hiatus. I (Siqi) am taking over the responsibilities of managing this group from Irene (hats off to Irene for an awesome job running this group for the past few years!) We would like to start the year with a project demo night, focusing “works in progress”: what are you currently working on? What technical and design challenges are you trying to tackle in particular? Would your project benefit from a crit? A collaborator? Please feel free to submit your talk (of 10 minutes or less) to me. Informal happy hour to follow! We will be meeting at Venture Cafe at CIC Cambridge, who has generously agreed to become an in-kind sponsor of this meet-up. Do please RSVP so I can get your name to security. Look forward to seeing you! • What to bring Laptop • Important to know If you'd like to demo your project, please get in touch with me so I can get you into the lineup.

  • Effective Visualization (Color) Design


    Schedule: 6:30 - 7:00 - hang out, demos We will have pizza and beer! This meetup is sponsored by OpenVis Conf (http://openvisconf.com/), a 2-day conference about the practice of Data Visualization on the open web. See the lineup on http://OpenVisConf.com (http://openvisconf.com/)! - Be sure to join us in person to get a discount code for meetup attendees. 7:00 - talk start Abstract: This talk will cover common limitations for making categorical visualization color palettes, and will also discuss how a new tool, Colorgorical, can help automate the palette design process. By dragging sliders in Colorgorical, users can manipulate color palette discriminability and preference importances, as well as control a variety of other attributes like the number of colors, predefining colors that should always be included, and whether to limit color selection to certain hues. After introducing concepts from color science, the talk will delve into how Colorgorical works under the hood, and also overview how it is able to automatically produce palettes that are as discriminable and typically more preferable than the defaults included in ColorBrewer, Microsoft, and Tableau. Colorgorical is open sourced and available to try out online at http://gramaz.io/colorgorical . Bio: Connor Gramazio (http://gramaz.io/) is a computer science PhD Candidate and NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Brown University. His research focuses on expanding our understanding of effective design practices and developing new computational techniques to improve visualization design. Prior to Brown, he graduated from Tufts University with a BS in Computer Science and a minor in Religion.

  • What can data visualization teach us about auditory displays?

    Hi everyone! We've got another exciting meetup ready to bring in the new year. This time we'll have Leslie Watkins from Fathom Information Design (https://fathom.info/) coming to talk to us about data sonification and auditory displays. Come learn about how we can express data through sound! This meetup will have pizza and beer provided by Merrimack College! Hooray! They are now offering a Masters of Science in Data Science track, Christian Schindler will be at the meetup to answer any questions! http://onlinedsa.merrimack.edu/ Schedule 6:30pm - 7:00pm - show & tell, hangout 7:00pm - 8:00pm - talk, Q&A, mingling Abstract This talk will begin with a brief history of data visualization, focusing on advances in computation and understanding of human cognition and their tremendous impact on the field in recent decades. It will then transition to an overview of the relatively nascent field of data sonification, and a discussion of how we can use computation and our knowledge of aural cognition to advance the field in a similar way. Largely a survey, this talk will present some characteristic examples of auditory displays, and techniques for effectively mapping numerical data to sound. Bio Leslie is currently a developer at Fathom Information Design (https://fathom.info/) and a lecturer in MIT's D-Minor (http://architecture.mit.edu/architecture-and-urbanism/degree/minor-design) Program. Previously, she did systems analysis and rapid prototyping at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. She has an MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a BS in Applied Mathematics from North Carolina State University.

  • Data-Driven Guides: Supporting Expressive Design for Information Graphics

    Hello all! We're excited to schedule our next meetup. Schedule: 6:30pm - 7:15pm - show and tell & hangout 7:15pm - 8pm - talk We are charging for pizza and beer again! If you pay and then are unable to attend, we will happily refund you (just message the meetup organizers.) Abstract: In recent years, there is a growing need for communicating complex data in an accessible graphical form. Existing visualization creation tools support automatic visual encoding, but lack flexibility for creating custom design; on the other hand, freeform illustration tools require manual visual encoding, making the design process time-consuming and error-prone. In this paper, we present Data-Driven Guides (DDG), a technique for designing expressive information graphics in a graphic design environment. Instead of being confined by predefined templates or marks, designers can generate guides from data and use the guides to draw, place and measure custom shapes. We provide guides to encode data using three fundamental visual encoding channels: length, area, and position. Users can combine more than one guide to construct complex visual structures and map these structures to data. When underlying data is changed, we use a deformation technique to transform custom shapes using the guides as the backbone of the shapes. Our evaluation shows that data-driven guides allow users to create expressive and more accurate custom data-driven graphics. Bio: Nam is a Ph.D. student, focusing on information visualization and human-computer interaction research. He works in the Visual Computing Group at Harvard, advised by Prof. Hanspeter Pfister. Prior to Harvard, he worked at Samsung and LG. He received M.S. from Stanford Univ. and B.S. from Ajou Univ. and Stony Brook Univ. (dual degree).

  • Building the Map of Twitter



    Our next talk is by Mike Barry (https://twitter.com/msb5014?lang=en) on visualizing Twitter on a map, a tale of machine learning meets geography meets visualization. Schedule: 6:30 - 7:15 Mingle and share demos of what you're currently working on. Bring a laptop for some casual show and tell! 7:15-8:00 The main talk followed by Q&A ----- We are trying something new! At our last meetup, we lamented the lack of pizza and beer collectively. We've relied on sponsorships so far, but they are unpredictable and we can't always guarantee we'll find them. You know what IS predictable? Hunger. As a result, we are trying a new thing for this meetup - the $5 charge. Your five dollars will get you some pizza and beer (or a non alcoholic beverage). Any excess funds will remain in the pizza and beer fund for future meetups (though our estimates of $5 should cover our costs.) ----- Talk Abstract: How can you represent something as rich and complex as the interest space of Twitter in a single eye-span? Recently some data scientists began applying techniques from machine learning to understand this space and Mike built an interactive visualization to browse it. This talk will cover the simple yet effective machine learning techniques we used and a live demo of the visualization we built which has proved useful across many parts of Twitter. Mike will also cover some libraries and tools we used to interact with hundreds of thousands of data points in the browser at 60fps. About our Speaker: Mike is a software engineer at Twitter who leads a team building backend services for data analysis. He has a passion for data visualization and tinkers with projects in his spare time. Mike also built Visualizing MBTA Data (mbtaviz.github.io (http://mbtaviz.github.io/)) for a graduate course in data visualization at WPI and occasionally gets to do some visualization work at Twitter.

  • Immersive Data Vis for the Web


    Our next meetup is about data vis in virtual reality! Alex Norton (http://alexnortn.com/) from Eyewire will be giving a talk entitled, "Immersive Data Visualization for the Web." The meetup will be at Bocoup's office on Wednesday, September 7 at 6:30pm. HEY! We are looking for a sponsor for beer and pizza! If you or your company would like to make announcements to the meetup members in attendance before the main talk, sponsor us! If we do not get a sponsor, we will not be serving pizza or beer. We'll have roughly the same schedule as the previous meetup: Schedule 6:30 - 7:15 Mingle and share demos of what you're currently working on. Bring a laptop for some casual sharing! 7:15-8:00 The main talk followed by Q&A -------- Talk Details Immersive Data Visualization for the Web Speaker: Alex Norton (http://alexnortn.com/) What are the possibilities of data visualization mediated by virtual reality? Positioned at the intersection of storytelling, design, and technology, VR has the capability to transform complex information into rich intuitive experience by increasing focus and inviting exploration. How will this new medium change the way we visualize and experience data?--- The talk will cover the following topics and includes a live demo. - Hardware available / required - Techniques for planning - prototyping in VR - Setting up a webVR environment (technology stack) - Best practices for designing VR visualization experiences Bring along a Google Cardboard if you have one! You'll be able to follow along during the demo. Speaker Bio Alex is a designer and researcher currently at Eyewire. Driven by a passion for innovation and cross disciplinary collaboration, he sees the world through the lens of design. His work focuses on the intersection of people and technology, weaving lessons from natural systems into creative solutions, delightful interactions, and computational models. Alex’s visualizations have been featured at TED, Tribeca Film Festival, and in Times Square NYC. His renderings have appeared in Wired magazine, the New York Times, and Nature scientific journal.

  • D3 v4 - What's new?


    Hi everyone, it's time for our next meetup! This month, we have our very own Irene Ros (https://twitter.com/ireneros) talking about D3 v4 on Tuesday, August 2nd at Bocoup's office again. The format is going to be slightly different from last time: 6:30 - 7:30 Mingle and share what you've been working on. Feel free to bring a computer and show people what you've been up to. We plan to have a few tables stationed around the room for people to set up laptops on and show off or discuss their work. Nothing formal is planned, just a casual atmosphere where we can talk about vis together. 7:30 - 8:30 Irene's talk on D3 v4 followed by Q&A and discussion. There's a lot of really great information in this talk, which will be longer than typical for our meetups. Bocoup is sponsoring this meetup! We will be serving pizza and beer from 6:30pm on through the night.

  • Boston Data Vis Meetup is Back at Bocoup!

    Hello! This meetup hasn't had a... well... meetup in a long time. Why don't we try and bring it back?! We don't have a specific set of talks scheduled, so this is your chance. We're going to experiment with a new format here for suggesting talks you want to give or topics you want to hear about. If you'd like to give a talk or hear a talk, please to go the following page and submit some ideas. You can also upvote ideas/talks that catch your eye. Please make sure to indicate if you are willing to give the talk, they should be about 15 minutes each. https://productpains.com/product/boston-data-visualization-meetup We will pick talks by June 15th, 2 weeks before the meetup. On a separate note, please welcome our new co-organizer, Peter Beshai! Peter's recently joined our data visualization team at Bocoup and will be helping us get this meetup back on track. Thanks for your help, Peter! If you are planning on joining us, please note that the Bocoup office has moved and we now have a new location near South Station: 201 South St, 1st Floor, Boston MA. Last but not least, we will have some pizza and beer courtesy of the data visualization team here at Bocoup. Come hungry! If you or your company would like to sponsor future meetups, please contact us via meetup or email [masked]. Update: Talks have been selected! The Nitty Gritty of Zooming and Panning in D3.js Speaker: Peter Kerpedjiev­ Technical details about how panning and zooming are implemented in D3.js. How are translations, scale factors, and scales related? How can we zoom to single points? How can we zoom to ranges? How can we limit the visible area? Visualization with React and SVG tags + a side of basketball Speaker: Peter Beshai @pbesh (https://twitter.com/pbesh) I'll give a talk about how to do visualization using the built-in support for SVG tags that comes with React along with some of the drawbacks of the approach. I used to work at the Boston Celtics as a web dev/data vis guy, so I'll take a little bit of time at the start of the talk to explain how I got there if there is interest from the crowd.

  • Visualization and Big Data: The Break-up

    Bocoup Loft

    Hello all! It's time for us to meet one last time before the end of the year, and I couldn't have asked for a better talk! Additionally, I am really excited to host you all in the new Bocoup office loft space in the beautiful Fanuiel Hall area. Abstract: "For those of us with expertise in visualization, life has been pretty good. Big data has become the unanimous prom queen of technology, which has secured visualization a front-row seat in the royal court. But I’m worried. I’m worried that big data has unintentionally created the impression that secrets of the future can be revealed after a quick perusal of whatever data happens to be lying around. I’m worried that this gap between reality and expectation is too wide to weather the limited patience and fleeting attention spans of corporate executives. But most of all, I’m worried that if big data goes bust, visualization will suffer by proxy. This would be a shame, because the one thing that I’m not worried about is the fact that visualization can put new information into human brains extremely efficiently. In this talk, I’ll be discussing how visualization could best survive a big data break-up, and what it would look like on the other side." Bio: Megan Monroe (http://www.madeyjay.com/) is a research scientist, specializing in visual analytics, at IBM’s Cambridge Lab. Before joining IBM, Monroe received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, where she worked under visualization pioneer, Ben Shneiderman. Monroe has done visualization work in fields ranging from finance and healthcare to music and sports. In other exciting news, we will also have some pizza and beer courtesy of OpenVis Conf (http://openvisconf.com)! OpenVis Conf is a two-day, single track conference about the practice of visualizing data on the web. Speakers will discuss best practices for data processing, storytelling, visual design, code structure and implementation using the latest and greatest technology and tools on the Open Web. The third OpenVis Conf will take place on April 6th & 7th of 2015, right here, in Boston! Get your tickets now: http://openvisconf.com .