View Full Version : Data | User Interaction | Visualization

01-10-2012, 12:37 AM

I am looking for some strong resources about the topics above.

I am trying to create a map for my website that visualizes Americas opinions on who will win the 2012 election... Obama vs the Republicans.

I have a data set that will be the base, but I would like to update the map as users take the accompanying poll and as the data set changes.

Any ideas or information would be awesome!


Old Pedant
01-10-2012, 10:02 AM
Google Maps.

You want to do this by state? Or finer level?

With Google Maps, you could easily set it up so that (example only!) you would have a little icon that would roughly represent the Dems vs. Reps as a tiny bar graph. Then the user would click on the icon and it would expand into a larger image with accompanying statistics.

The nice part is you can come up showing the entire map, with states like Rhode Island impossibly small, and the user simply uses the familiar controls of all google maps to recenter the map and expand (say) New England to fill the screen. And you don't have to code any of that part.

Old Pedant
01-10-2012, 10:06 AM
I should note that you might want to do this mostly with server-side coding, with only the minimal amount of JavaScript needed to invoke the Google Map.

After all, any kind of data collection (including your poll) *must* be done with server-side coding (that is, PHP or ASP or JSP or ...). Can't do it with just HTML and JS.

01-10-2012, 06:10 PM
Hey Thanks Old Pedant.

I had thought about Google as a route, the reason I wanted to stay away from it was because of the extra information, i.e. streets, cities, etc, as well as the limitation in Style, I have never used the API, I will read more. Implementing your idea of expanding the stats from a state icon into a pop out window is a good idea, that would allow for my own designs/detail in the pop-out, while using the probable ease of Google.

Have you heard of http://polymaps.org/ex/?


Old Pedant
01-10-2012, 09:07 PM
Hadn't heard of it. So took a peek. Fun thing: Did you note they are using the Google Apps Engine?

So just changing the map, but not the basic coding for resizing, moving, etc., it would appear.

01-10-2012, 09:42 PM
So basically they did exactly what you told me to do? haha

building off this http://code.google.com/appengine/ they develop their app on googles base?

Old Pedant
01-10-2012, 10:43 PM
That's what I implied from their comment. Don't know it for a fact, but their maps "feel" awfully googlish.

01-11-2012, 01:10 AM
Hey Old Pedant could you please help me understand the structure when using googles engine to work with my site and data.

Here are the elements I will be using I am assuming.
My Site (based in html/php/mysql) -- My data xml format -- Google's engine (...)

Does the engine just sit within my designated page? And through the engine the xml data is parsed and then rendered? Or does my php parse the xml data and plug it into googles engine which then renders it?

sorry new to the back end stuff. This may be the wrong place to discuss this.

Thanks - Micah

Old Pedant
01-11-2012, 01:56 AM
Asking the wrong person. I haven't used google's app engine. I would *bet*, though, that it's all client side.