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Datavisualisatie Mind Design

Tools, a Processing sketch working with Rijkscoordinaten and longitude latitude

There was a request for a sketch to convert Rijkscoordinaten (Dutch coordinates) to Longitue and latitude. The next question was how to display the longitude, latitude data on a map of Rotterdam.

I made the sketch and tested it with GPS data I obtained with a DIY contraption: SDcard shield on an Arduino and a GPS module:

Here is the equipment:

Then the next step is to get the GPS data and plot these on a map in Processing. (Actually plotting directly in Google Earth would be easier, but now we have a great opportunity to LEARN something).

I used this sketch:

and got this plot of my tour on bicycle from home to my studio, and from there along the river Rotte, (very green and nice, and just in time before the batteries ran out):

Here is the Processing sketch which made this all possible:

There are quite a few conversion inside this sketch, and a calibration by hand of the image.

research May 21: assignment

> to be discussed in the class of June 4, include the results in your research paper!


Jakob Nielsen,Ten Usability Heuristics


> critically evaluate Nielsen’s heuristics:  which ones do you consider relevant for dataviz.?

> rewrite the 10 heuristics from your own perpective


“techniques and methods for problem solving”


research May 14: ppt and assignment for May 21

the ppt of May 14:


…and the assignments for Monday May 21

1. mapping the user context

– define the possible user for your design

– make a context map for a possible user (sketch,  see context mapping)

– select and describe a research technique for your audience  (see article Qualitative Methods, Philips)

   why this method, for what aim? (focus group, ethnographical method, participatory method)

2. reading:

Jakob Nielsen,Ten Usability Heuristics

research May 14: assignment May 7

results of the assignment of May 7

– definitions

JT Cobell, Emily Woo, Sol Moon

Open data is the idea that certain data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. Governments have to be accountable for the efficient use of taxpayer’s money: If public funds are used to aggregate the data and if the data will bring commercial (private) benefits to only a small umber of users, the users should reimburse governments for the cost of providing the data. //Wikipedia

Open public data is underpinned by the philosophy that data generated or collected by organisations in the public sector should belong to the taxpayers, wherever financially feasible and where releasing it won’t violate any laws or rights to privacy (either for citizens or government staff). //LinkedGov (

1. Data Must Be Complete

2. Data Must Be Primary

3. Data Must Be Timely

4. Data Must Be Accessible

5. Data Must Be Machine processable

6. Access Must Be Non-Discriminatory

7. Data Formats Must Be Non-Proprietary

8. Data Must Be License-free

//OpenGovData (

Open data is a cumulative process: New ideas build on earlier knowledge, so that the frontiers of human understanding continually move outward. //

“A piece of content or data is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike.” //

 – background
Tim & Hilde

Reformulated assignment Open Data

See also the facebook group:
The aspects of Processing in the assignment for the minor have been changed (reduced):

We ask for the final presentation:
One layer of information coming from the JSON files about Rotterdam, using the examples we tried out, possibly making changes in code concerning properties. (So in principle no very complex operations with JSON files using your own Processing code.)

This layer has to be combined with data from other sources about Rotterdam. Examples of these links are posted just before this announcement. Like sound experience in Rotterdam, pollution, etc. These sites give info/data for instance on postcode and can be explored by hand, without the complication of formats like CSV or JSON.

You will be brainstorming next Monday 21-05 exploring these links together and (re-)developing your story, concept or statement about Rotterdam based on the combination of the JSON data we studied and the new “manual” data you harvested from these examples.

You can make a design using screenshots form Processing and visual output from other tools on the internet (like many-eyes, and alike) combined with your own tricks in InDesign.

For the final we think of a presentation and a pdf with your results.

More details will be given next Monday. So be there on Monday at 9:00 sharp, probably Aldje will join assisting the brainstorm.
For the links about Rotterdam, see the latest Facebook group Posts.
Not memebr of this Group?
Ask to become a member:

new publication Data Journalism

Research Q4: May 7

Here’s the introduction of Quarter 4, including the assignment for May 14.


reading for class Monday 14

– qualitative research

Christopher Ireland, Qualitative Methods: from Boring to Brilliant, pp. 23-29,

in: Design research, Brenda Laurel (ed.), MIT Press, Cambridge, 2003

– context mapping: user context

P.J. Stappers, Studiolab, TU Delft

Processing Open Data

For coming Monday: we will start playing with Open Data, we will use this Open data zip with JSON files:

We start with two Processing sketches, one from Jan Willem Tulp and another of Beam: and

For both sketches: you have to drag the JSON file into the sketch, or
add it to the data folder. The Beam sketch uses the bomen.json just if
this was a txt file, the Jan WIllem sketch uses the JSON library
One of the differences between the sketches is the time it takes to plot the results, in both cases the locations. The bomen file consists of around 100.000 trees and takes 20 seconds to draw, using the simple txt structure of the json file. If, in the other sketch, one replaces the speeltoestellen by the bomen (taking all the items eliminating the selection of “HOUT”) the sketch is sonly giving a result after 5 minutes. (It may be different times on other computers). This is due tot the conversions and JSONobjects is uses… 
Result of the bomen sketch: superimposed on a map of Rotterdam: (20 seconds)
Result of the Bomen.json into the speeltoestellen sketch: (produced after 5 minutes of calculations): you see the river “Nieuwe Waterweg” crossing Rotterdam

tools: deliverable for end presentation

For the final pdf for the tools part of the minor third quarter:

format: (pdf)

  • landscape
  • two columns
  • not over-designed but ….


screenshots and some text about the three subjects we have studied during the course:

  • a Pipes experiment of your own
  • an epub
  • an APP