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Orange Visual Visualisation Tool: "

A few days ago, I came across a drag’n'drop, wire it together visualisation and data analysis tool called Orange.

Here’s a quick run through of some of the basics (at least, a run through of the first few things I tried to do with the tool…)

First off, we need some data. Orange likes TSV (tab separated values) rather than CSV, so I grabbed some TSV from one of the Guardian Datastore spreadheets on Google Docs (use “Save as Text” to get the tab separated value format…)

TSV from google docs

Orange is a canvas based visual programming environment, in which functional blocks are added the the canvas and certain parameters set within the block. Here’s how we get some data into Orange from a TSV file:

Orangie viz tool - import data

The File icon is giving me a warning (no dependent variable) but I’m not sure why…? I’m sure Orange has managed to detect labels and quantities correctly from other files I’ve tried?

Anyway… we can inspect the data by looking at it in a data table widget – just wire one in:

Orange viz tool - data table

The table is sortable by column, and the Report button can be used to save a version of the table. Looking t the data table, we see it has identified columns with missing entries. We can clean these from out data set using the Preprocessing widget:

Orange - data cleaning

If we now wire the output of the Processing widget into the Scatterplot widget, we can generate a variety of scatterplots:

Orange scatterplot

If you want to save a copy of the chart, it’s easy enough to do so. (I can’t get colour palettes to work on my Mac, so I’m stuck with greyscale displays. Also, the blob sizing doesn’t seem very responsive…)

Orange - save a scatterplot

The Report tool allows us to create a report from various bits of the dataflow, including adding information from several widgets to either separate report pages or the same report page.

Orange - report generator

Saving a Report saves all the report pages to a navigable set of HTML pages that resemble the Orange Report viewer.

Here are a couple of other things we can do with the data, this time using a data set that isn’t throwing the “dependent variable missing” error, in particular the distribution of comments in a small Friendfeed network…

So for example, here’s how the number of comments made by members of the network is distributed:

Orange - distribution of values

Alternatively, we may look at the distribution in a more “statistical” way:

Orange - simple distributions

(Remember, we can generate these reports interactively, and then add them to a growing report.)

The survey plot gives us a macroscopic birds eye view over the whole of the data set:

Orange - survey plot

Okay, that’s enough for starters – hopefully you get the idea: wire stuff together and generate visual reports… So why not go and download Orange now?!;-)

There are a whole range of clustering tools, too, which look like they could be interesting…

And I think the platform is extensible, which means there’s a way of adding your own widgets (written in Python, maybe..?)



Sent to you by David Andrew via Google Reader:


via Free Technology for Teachers by (Mr. Byrne) on 06/08/10

18 Formats for Handmade Thinking in the Classroom is a presentation put together by Laurence Musgrove. In the presentation Musgrove takes the ideas from Dan Roam's Back of the Napkin books and applies them to the classroom. In his presentation Musgrove outlines eighteen ways that visual thinking and handmade sketches can be used in your teaching practice. Musgrove includes some examples of handmade sketches created by students. There are 100 slides in the slidedeck, but the deck didn't get interesting to me until slide seventeen when Musgrove jumps into the 18 formats for handmade thinking.
View the slides below.

Visit Laurence Musgrove's website, The Illustrated Professor for more examples of using handmade drawings as a reading response format.

If you're interested in having your students create free-hand sketches on their computers for later use in presentations, you may want to explore these five free online drawing tools.


Things you can do from here:


Infographic World - 12 Interesting Infographics: "Infographics can be good mediums for delivering statistical information in visually engaging formats. Infographic World is a commercial producer of infographics. In their gallery of sample work Infographic World has one dozen infographics addressing topics related to environment and economics. A couple of the infographics that might be of particular interest to teachers are Haiti Disaster Relief and The State of Renewable Energy in the United States.

Applications for Education
Statistics in and of themselves can be kind of boring to students. A good infographic can make statistics appear more interesting. You could use the samples from Infographic World as conversation starters in class. You could also use the samples as models for your students when you have them create infographics of their own.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Is It Better to Rent or Buy? Interactive Infographic
Two Cool Economics Infographics
Cool Infographics - Caffeine Consumption