Wrapping Up Our First Sprint

Wrapping Up Our First Sprint

For World Water Day, we published the final outcome of our first ever Visualization Sprint. We’d like to give a big shout out and thanks to the community for your participation. We didn’t know what to expect, so we were thrilled when a bunch of creators jumped in and started coding. By the end, 68 versions were made by 15 contributors — and they’ve actually continued to make modifications since then.

The collaborative process that emerged during the sprint was fascinating to watch. You can see from the versions "tree” on the sprint page that the process was highly iterative, with one main line of design and 10 branches introducing concepts that were either abandoned or incorporated into the master. Two users in particular — De Datagraaf and artzub — were very dedicated in refining the visualization, cleaning up what became very complex code, and seeing the project through to the end.

Looking back through the edits, I think the modifications can be grouped into a few categories:

  • New ways to explore (by country #6, by experiment #13)
  • More information added (tooltips #4, averages #10, histogram #18, pie charts #42)
  • New ways of plotting (untethering points from the map, which became the scatter plots #50)
  • Visual refinement (colors #9, #23, spacing #28, map projection #48, dinosaurs #35)
  • Critical behind-the-scenes changes, such as cleaning data and organizing code

The visualization certainly came a long way from Jan Willem Tulp’s initial sketch, with a huge amount of effort being put into contextualizing the geographic map with information that made it more legible, more narrative, and easier to compare. Only the scatter plots, introduced late in the process, represented the data points in an entirely new way — and even those remained secondary to the map. This was to be expected with this data set, since it lent itself so naturally to geographic rendering. The impressive additions and changes made in support of the map make clear the importance of contextualizing a visualization and allowing users to drill down to individual details.

And now what you’ve been waiting for... As promised, we have randomly selected one lucky contributor to receive a pass to this year’s sold-out Eyeo Festival. Congratulations Rafael Lage Tavares! And we're also already planning the next sprint, so stay tuned.

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cecilia's picture

What a great job! This could be a good influenced to eveyone. - Reba Rambo-McGuire