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Visualizing Data using Datapress

November 1st, 2010

I attended a seminar at MIT last Friday (for this year, I’m a part-time member of the DIG group there). Edward Benson gave an impressive demo on Datapress, an extension of WordPress that can enable non-geeks to import and visualize data in their blogs.

Since our TW blog is based on WordPress, I installed the extension and began to try. The installation was surprisingly smooth, just a few clicks and it’s done in 30 seconds!

The first thing I want to try is to visualize the ISWC 2010 dataset I recently built. Since Datapress does not yet support importing from RDF, I created a spreadsheet using a SPARQL query in TopBraid Composer:

SELECT distinct ?l ?lat ?long
?s swc:isSubEventOf iswc2010:research-track .
?s swc:isSuperEventOf ?p .
?p swc:hasRelatedDocument ?d .
?d foaf:maker ?m.
?m swrc:affiliation ?o.
?o rdfs:label ?l .
?o foaf:based_near ?b .
?b geo:lat ?lat.
?b geo:long ?long .

There are some minor format requirements (I didn’t get it right in the first try -Ted helped me to identify the problem)
* the first line of the spreadsheet should be headers, and the “key” line should have “{{label}}”
* To show on a map, coordinates should be shown as Lat,Lng. Hence, I need to combine the last two columns into one, separated with a comma.

The next step is to upload it to Google Docs, and share it as a public document (can be viewed here)

Then, I can go back to the blog post that I’m writing, click a button on Datapress toolbar in the editing interface, add the data by giving it the URL to the Google Docs spreadsheet, and select Map visualization. The process is very user friendly.

You can add multiple visualizations to one post. This is a very handy way to generate visualization using Exhibit. Actually, I have thought about visualizing ISWC data using Exhibit, but didn’t get time (or too lazy) to program. Datapress saved me.

Ted will give the presentation about Datapress at ISWC next week. Don’t miss it if you will also be at Shanghai!

(The map shows locations of research track authors at ISWC 2010.)

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  1. November 1st, 2010 at 18:26 | #1

    Thanks for trying out the plugin Jie!

    Having seen this, I think it would be useful to have SPARQL as a datasource option out of the box to eliminate the need for an in-between step. You could enter the URL of an endpoint, as well as a SPARQL select query, and just link directly to that.

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  2. November 28th, 2010 at 16:28 | #2

    @Ted Benson
    A SPARQL data source option would be really useful – any chance of this in the near future?

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  1. April 12th, 2011 at 15:36 | #1