Datæ Visualisation

We're looking at perhaps running an open source event this year and want to avoid overlap with other events that might attract a similar audience or that we want to attend ourselves. A calendar is possibly the single most unhelpful way to visualise dates, so I wanted something else.

If you turn a year into a clock face, you can just about fit a whole year into 360 degrees. And if you're not overly worried about the number of days in a month (and who would be, for a broad visualisation?) you can stick a months in each 30 degrees, for a total of 12.

The easiest way to visualise data is by generating an image and in this case the SVG format is rather helpful, as it allows you to draw shapes and text with not a lot of effort. The only thing you need is a bit of ancient greek level maths to calculate the points you want to connect with lines. And if - like me - you suck at that, you can google it ;-)

A little bit of coding later, I have a script that takes an array of event information as input and spits out a pretty clock face SVG.

SVG date visualisation

Drupal events are blue (of course) and the yellow ones are OS Bridge and OSCON. So now we can pick a date that won't clash (too badly) with:

  • 19 Jan - Joomla Day Melbourne
  • 28 Jan - LCA2013
  • 6 Feb - DrupalCon Sydney
  • 11 Feb - WebStock
  • 20 Feb - RubyConf AU
  • 14 Mar - Edge of the Web
  • 27 Apr - WordCamp Melbourne
  • 2 May - WebDirections Code
  • 20 May - DrupalCon Portland
  • 5 Jul - PyCon AU
  • 22 Jul - OSCON
  • 23 Sep - DrupalCon Prague
  • 24 Oct - WebDirections South
  • 4 Dec - OSDC

(where the last two are last year's dates)

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SVG date visualisation6.61 KB

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