Visualization Process Blog

This studio process was all about information visualization. Using Tableau software, we pulled data sets from online and began to play around with visualizing different pieces of data. I enjoyed Tableau’s easy to use interface and the variety of options if gives users. Turning data sets into visualizations went very well right from the start. I had very little trouble learning how to use the Tableau software. The first visualization I created was a map of Seattle bike racks. The entire studio class was guided through creating this bike rack map with help from the professor.

After creating my first complete visualization, I felt comfortable to create some of my own visualizations without class guidance. We pulled a 9/11 response call data set from online to start creating our own visualizations with. I decided to create a visualization of Seattle Auto Crime. My final visualization is viewable here: Link (Tableau Public). I included other charts and graphs in addition to a map of auto crime incidents in January 2016. Here is a photo of the final product.

Building off of my experience creating this Seattle Auto Crime visualization, next time I would like to find more extensive data sets to work with. For the Auto Crime visualizations I was using response calls from a short period of Janurary 2016. I think it would be interesting to play with larger more detailed data. My experience with Tableau software itself was very positive. It is the data that I would like to explore further looking ahead.

Where can I find reliable data?

One question I found myself asking during my time with Tableau was where to find reliable data. In order to have effective visualizations you need reliable data sets. Tableau covered the actual visualization part of this process very well, in my opinion. However, that leaves me responsible for finding and compiling reliable data sets. I feel like compiling larger, more detailed data sets would be challenging, although this is something I would like to pursue in the future. I’d like to spend time finding some reliable open data sources on the web for future use!

User Groups

For my Seattle Auto Crime official write up, I mentioned the Seattle Police Department as a potential user group of my visualization. The SPD could use my Seattle Auto Crime visuals to assess auto crime trends and decide where to focus prevention efforts. Another user group I could imagine benefiting from my visualizations is Seattle car owners. Car owners could assure their safety by examining which sections of the city have the highest rates of various forms of auto crime. For example, a car owner could see that car prowl, in which someone smashes a car window to steal your belongings inside, is most common in the U-District (Section U). Next time this owner parks their car in the U-District, they could use this information to take extra precautions to avoid becoming a victim of car prowl.

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