I am excited to visit NID-Bangalore for the second time! On 4th and 5th of January 2014, I get to spend time with the IID ’13 batch and work with them to get our hands dirty with Processing, and a little bit of information visualization! Having introduced their senior batch last year to Processing, I hope to make it a little bit more interactive and interesting this time. I also get assistance from two bright minds of that batch! To be honest, Rasagy and Parag would be doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to answering Processing syntax related questions. I am probably going to help out the students by pointing them to the right corners of YouTube, to watch ‘inspirational’ videos while they are at it.
This post would serve as my field notes and check-list of to-do’s. So as I type this on the evening of January 4th, I am putting together my thoughts and references for the beginning of the class tomorrow.
1. Show this blog post
2. Ask everyone about what they want out of the workshop (start learning Processing as a tool OR focus on information visualization and explore how programming could do it better)
3. Depending on the answer, there would be two groups working their way from different beginnings, towards a common goal — Using Processing to create interesting information visualizations
4. That’s pretty much it for now. (Make a plan for the next move)
Interesting videos, articles and websites:
A glimpse of data and information visualization history (Lynda)
Some information visualization projects here, here and more
Beginners toolkit Part 1 and Part 2
more to come…
[Update: 4th Jan: 3:34PM]
Real enthu students have spent all day exploring the basics of drawing and manipulating shapes with Processing. We are through primitive shapes, strokes, colors and using keyboard and mouse inputs. We are to start using some input-frequency based works soon!
[Update: 4th Jan: 5:51PM]
So we worked a little more towards manipulating shapes, except using key counters. The assignment was to use keyboard inputs to map them. Everyone is to create a bar-graph showing the occurence and recurrence of alphabets within their names. Here is a sample file for you to play with.
[Update: 5th Jan: 3.20PM]
So everyone is still here! and we are quite far into the details of the language. Now that we are exploring writing custom functions and using text on-screen, I think its time to move towards visualizing information. Rasagy is going to help with extracting data from an Excel-sheet or a txt file and then we will use that data to create live visuals!
[Update: 5th Jan: 5.00PM]
Everyone has taken a shot at fetching a set of numerical data from an external file and using it to drive some visuals on the screen. This way, the ‘information’ and the ‘visualization’ stays in different files and can be handled easily. Hopefully, I will be sharing some more useful resources with the class; and they would find some time afterhours to continue exploring Processing. That is to say, although the workshop is over, the learning shouldn’t be!