Open Data Release Notes for 2/27/2015

The new Open Data exploration and curation experience that you’ve been testing in the Technology Preview is now known as Data Lens!  Unlike traditional ways of presenting and exploring data in tabular forms and linear workflows, Data Lens provides an interactive and visual interface to quickly derive answers from data.  Backed by powerful machine learning, this user-friendly experience encourages average citizens to engage with the data to dig for insights as well as dramatically increases the ease of data curation for publishers.

We’ve also added new functionality to the Open Data Technology Preview.  These changes are intended to continually improve the newly named Data Lens experience.

  • Browse other official views of the dataset from a Data Lens page
    • from the Data Lens page you’re currently viewing, you can easily navigate to other Data Lens pages based on the same source dataset from the Info Pane
    • this provides citizens and publishers an easy way to discover other visualizations of the same data

  • New Customize Toolbar
    • The buttons for “customize”, “save” and “save as” were previously in the Info Pane and they have now moved to the bottom of the page in the Customize Toolbar where they are always visible and easy to access.
    • The Customize Toolbar will visually indicate when you have made unsaved changes to the Data Lens page so that you can choose to save the changes or revert and exit customize mode.  
    • The new Customize Toolbar helps you to avoid accidentally discarding unsaved changes or saving unwanted changes.


  • Descriptive titles in cards
    • Previously card titles only included the column title that the card is using.    
    • We have now expanded the card title to include how the data is being summarized, e.g. “Number of Crimes by Neighborhood”, or “Sum of Capacities by County”
    • This makes it easier for the average citizen to understand the chart or map they’re reading.

  • Continuous legend for region maps with higher color contrast
    • Previously the legend for region maps had discrete colors representing the bucketed values on the map.  Users complained not being able to see the difference between the regions that had the largest amount without hovering, and the contrast between the lowest and the highest value regions being too subtle.
    • The new continuous legend has higher color contrast between the higher and lower values making it easier to distinguish various value on the map.

Selected Bug Fixes and Patches

  • Fix for truncating page title too early
    • previously, the title for the Data Lens page was truncated after 1 line when the entire title doesn’t fit on the page
    • now the title truncates after 2 line so that users can see more of the title before it’s cut off
  • Fix for region maps with black values
    • previously, when a region map only contains one value, the colored region is black
    • now the region is colored correctly according to the color scale of the map
  • Fix for scrolling labels on the Y axis when there are many values
    • previously, when there are too many columns to be shown on a column chart and the user expands the card to see all of the columns the labels on the Y axis are not sticky to the right
    • this is fixed such that the Y axis labels expand and stay to the right
  • Fix for datasets with one row causing cards to be blank
    • previously datasets with only one row result in blank cards being generated since nothing can be visualized
    • now only the table card is generated for one row datasets

Note that the above releases notes are not exhaustive.  Release notes for other products can be found on this site as well.  

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