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Category: Computer Engineering

Let’s Tesselate: Hexagons For Tile Grid Maps

A hexagon tile grid, square tile grid and geographic choropleth map. Maps by Danny DeBelius and Alyson Hurt. As the saying goes, nothing is certain in this life but death, taxes and requests for geographic data to be represented on a map. For area data, the choropleth map is a tried and true visualization technique, but not without significant dangers depending on the nature of the data and map areas represented. Clarity of mapped state-level data, for instance, is frequently…

Tech note: Connecting to an Amazon RDS database from a legacy EC2 server

By David Eads | May 08, 2015 Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS) is an excellent way to host databases. The service is affordable, low-maintenance, and self-contained. If you use the Amazon cloud, there are precious few reasons to maintain your own database server. At some point, Amazon started requiring RDS instances to use Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) networking. However, if you’re like the NPR Visuals team, you might have older Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) server instances that…

Product Packaging Strategies to Maximize Profitability

Kuerig used Pulp Packaging for three great reasons , cost ,the environment, and as far as i am concerned the best is it can be stomped on and deposited flat in my recycling bin. As a low volume ,low setup cost manufacturer of custom molded pulp we hope more companies give it a chanceRobin TremblayPulpPackaging.com ReplyDelete Source link…

Better, faster, more: recent improvements to our dailygraphics rig

In the past couple weeks the Visuals team has consciously shifted resources to focus on the parts of our work that have the highest impact. As part of this reorganization the graphics team has grown from one (Graphics Editor Alyson Hurt) to two—the second being me! Having a dedicated engineer working on daily graphics means we are doubling down both the amount of content we can create and on the tools we use to create it. For the last week…

Making small multiples maps with invar

Mapping the spread of Wal-Mart For a recent story on the growth of Wal-Mart in urban areas we set out to map Wal-Marts across the US and over time. Due to limitations with our dataset, we only ended up mapping three cities. Here is the graphic we produced: Automation is key to generating these sorts of maps. There are huge number of things that could go wrong if each one was produced by hand. For this story the automated process…

Video : Pre-pour of Post-Tensioned Concrete Loading Dock

Repairs to mildly-reinforced concrete and asphalt loading dock driveway.  AMSYSCO used post-tensioned concrete in order to increase long-term durability of the concrete member.  This loading dock experiences heavy-duty loads from flatbed trucks (over 40,000 lbs) and forklift traffic. (Video from September 2014) ____________________________________________Copyright © 2015 by AMSYSCO, Inc. All rights reserved. Source link…

The Evolution of NPR’s Picture Stories – Learning

In September of 2012, Claire O’Neill and I published a story about an amateur photographer named Charles Cushman. Cushman was a rare character for a couple of reasons. First, he was shooting in color at a time that most photographers were shooting in black and white, and though he was an amateur, he had an incredible instinct for making great pictures. His story and his photography were amazing, and we knew there was an opportunity to do something different with…

Switching to OAuth in the App Template

Suyeon Son and David Eads re-worked the authentication mechanism for accessing Google Spreadsheets with the NPR Visuals App Template. This is a significant change for App Template users. Here’s why we did it and how it works. Most App Template developers only need to consult the Configuring your system and Authenticating sections of this post, provided someone on your team has gone through the process of creating a Google API application and given you credentials. Why OAuth? Prior to this…

Multivariate testing: Learning what works from your users at scale

Multivariate and AB testing are generally used to iterate on products over time. But what do you do when your product is always different, like the visual stories we tell? For the past year, NPR Visuals has been iterating on a story format for picture stories that works like a slideshow, presenting full-width cards with photos, text and any other HTML elements. We have made various tweaks to the presentation, but since each story is substantially different, it’s hard to…