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Perspectives release notes for 8/15/16: new visualization library

Visualizations are a core component of the Socrata experience — they help our users make sense of their data and drive better decision-making.  So we’re dedicating a significant amount of resources in the second half of 2016 to unifying and modernizing this critical piece of our platform.

Today, this new-and-improved visualization library and authoring experience are launching in Perspectives.  All Perspectives users have immediate access.

And this is just the beginning.  Over the next several months, we’ll be building more chart types, multi-series capabilities and additional customization options. In parallel, we’ll also incorporate this same experience into Data Lens.  Piece by piece, this new creation and rendering functionality will eventually become the default visualization authoring and viewing experience across all Socrata products.

Read on to learn a bit more about the new visualization experience, and check out the accompanying Knowledge Base article for a deep-dive on how it works.

 


Previous Perspectives release notes:

August 8

July 15

June 3

April 19

March 18

February 26 


 

The screenshot below shows the interface used to create a new visualization and add it to a story.  The user can select from among three chart types and two map types — the same options available in Data Lens today.

If you’re familiar with Data Lens, you’ll notice that a few interactions differ from the current Add a card workflow.  We now recommend — rather than prescribe — columns based on a given chart type.  We also let the user to select a column first, then recommend a chart type. Our goal is to add flexibility while preserving ease-of-use.

You’ll also notice many more customization options — title and description, colors, axis labeling and flyouts, plus opacity and pan-and-zoom options for maps — available to the user, but not required.  We’ll continue to add more optional chart modifications in the coming months.

 

Today, a chart or map created using this method will only live within that story.  In short order, though, we’ll be building the functionality that lets the user optionally save that visualization to the catalog as an independent object.

 


  

Sneak peek: what’s coming next ...

Small improvements

  • Specify axis min and max
  • Auto-fit chart vs. panning to scroll
  • Toggle row labels on or off
  • See a more granular scale for choropleth regions

Big development items

  • New chart types: horizontal bar chart and traditional line chart
  • Multi-series point maps, line and column charts

 

Check out our other Product News, and give us a shout at support@socrata.com with questions or ideas.

 

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