World of D3.js – 2: JavaScript and UNICEF Project

These are slow re-counts of my semester so far taking Data Visualization with D3.

During the summer, I tried to do some independent studying with JavaScript reading up books such as JavaScript for Cats, Eloquent JavaScript, and Jon Duckett’s JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development. I should have done more than reading and coded more to understand the language better.

Week 1: I was still in Asia and did not get back in time for the first week of classes. I read the assignments and met with my professor during her office hours. I learned about our semester project, we would be working with UNICEF data to create visuals on D3.

Some of the examples my teacher gave us: JanWillem Tulp’s storytelling interactive shows many different data visualizations:  http://tulpinteractive.com/

At first, I found the visualizations to be cool and amazing. I looked forward to even creating something remotely like them. Now, I still think they are amazing, but I also feel intimidated. After 12 weeks of this course, I realize just how difficult it is to create these wonderful visualizations. Despite my worries, I know that I am learning a lot from the back-end of creating these visuals.

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World of D3.js – 1: Stumbling into it

Woah… how did I end up learning d3.js? This semester I signed up for the Advanced Data Visualization Special Topics course, with little knowledge of what I was getting myself into. My infographics professor had highly recommended the new course with the visiting professor. Like always when I am about to make a tough decision, I come back to this one thought, “Will I regret NOT doing it?”

She is a visiting professor and I am a senior next year, I may not get a chance to take a course like this again. Looking back, I made a very wise decision. As I learn about d3, I realize how new the tool actually is.  Most of the resources we find on the D3 library comes from the creator Mike Bostock himself. I get a chance to learn something that not a whole lot of people get a chance to learn (today)!

No matter where I am going in my career or my life after college, I will never pass up a chance to learn something that I find interesting. 🙂 However, I really wish I can get better at this soon. Even though the semester is almost over, I still don’t think I have a strong grasp at what I am doing. I guess I have to try harder.