February 2011 Archives

Label Me, I Label You

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I know, I know... I'm starting (starting??) to sound like a broken record, and you must be bored out of your minds, as I yet again post this same visualization. I guess I am... I am... I am... I am... When I first posted this vis, I was stoked (yunz still say "stoked"?). I had set a couple goals that I achieved: start a blog/portfolio and see if these Processing sketches would display. Not lofty goals, but goals none the less, and it felt good when I cracked that code. Perhaps I was a tad eager. Perhaps I should've waited till the features in blog post 2 & 3 (& now 4) were incorporated into my vis before I posted. As a good friend always used to say, "Yeah well." Poignant, eh? So I come to you, yet again, humbled by your patience, a scoash wiser in my meager knowledge of Processing & visualization, asking you to indulge me.

I was never satisfied w/ the way I was displaying the actual IP addresses/labels, and no one found the hidden Easter Egg that revealed my initial flawed attempt (the 'l' (el) key displays the IPs on top of the squares). This method had more problems than I care to list, and I knew I wanted to improve. My solution is much better but still needs work. The "l" key now displays the IPs in a list on the right-hand side of the page. Plus I added a(n) "IPs Displayed" total that appears in the lower right of the screen which updates as you filter the data. So now you can isolate a subset or grouping of data and then list the associated IPs.

Thumbnail image for IP.jpg

Now I can scratch #8. "How to display the IP labels/text" off my list of improvements for my vis. PeasyCam took care of #2-6 (thanks again John). But my list seems to be growing as I work on this project. New ideas surface and get added to the list. The two that really interest me are
1). Run a whois on the filtered IPs
        - see if I can tie in a whois (reverse dns lookup) so a user can see where the IP is from or who owns it.
2). Allow parameter switching
        - make it so the user can assign the data attributes/parameters to any of the 5 depictions: x, y, z, size, color.

Number 2 has some legs. In our case 4 of the 5 aspects of the data are IP octets, but suppose we have a different data set where we're looking at indices of a nation's population, wealth, health, infrastructure and imports. We could then assign whatever we wanted to any of the 5 dimensions of the visualization to coax groupings out of the data.

If any ideas for improvements pop into your head, please share them.

Hold down "p" key to toggle perspective vs. orthographic views
Hold down "l" (el) key to list IPs

To filter data:
- hold down "x" key to filter X axis
- position mouse in Set Range box (start w/ a low setting)
- position mouse in Set IP box

Other keys for filtering process:
- "y" key for Y axis
- "z" key for Z axis
- "s" key for size of square
- "c" key for color of square
- "b" key for background shade

Easy PeasyCam Rocks

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Re: previous 2 posts.....

I was unhappy w/ the way my filter-controls moved when navigating thru my 3d scene, rendering them unusable. So I posted a question on Processing's forum. A reply pointed me towards Johnathan Feinberg's PeasyCam. I had just started playing w/ PeasyCam last wk, so I had already dl'ed & installed but didn't know how robust this library was.

 I don't know Johnathan, but anyone who creates software to find accidental haiku in code (haikufinder), has appeared on Letterman & Leno AND creates something as cool as PeasyCam, well.... that, my friends, is a full on rock star. Thanks Johnathan.

When u run this latest version, note how the filter boxes at the bottom stay put and are usable while u navigate around the scene. This was done by wrapping code w/ the beginHUD() & endHUD() methods. Also note how the controls have changed (see below) since some of the previous functionality is built into PeasyCam

IP.jpg

Left-click and drag to rotate scene.
Right-click and drag vertically to move thru scene OR use mouse wheel.
Middle-mouse click and drag to pan scene (command-left drag on Mac).
Double-click to reset cam position.

Hold down "p" key to toggle perspective vs. orthographic views

To filter data:
- hold down "x" key to filter X axis
- position mouse in Set Range box (start w/ a low setting)
- position mouse in Set IP box

Other keys for filtering process:
- "y" key for Y axis
- "z" key for Z axis
- "s" key for size of square
- "c" key for color of square
- "b" key for background shade

Variation on a theme

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Regarding my previous post....

A friend suggested I try circles w/ brightness AND transparency based on the number of pageviews for each IP. When I made the change, I could tell just by looking that something wasn't right. There should've been a few white opaque circles to represent the 3 IPs that viewed over 1000 pages in the 24hr period. So I started digging. It took a couple days to track down my problem: a rogue glitchenzoid in the scrabbard (if you're really interested, let me know). 

Another friend was checking out my visualization, and asked how to reset everything. So I added a reset button.

"I get by with a little help from my friends." J. Lennon/P. McCartney.

IPvisCrcls.jpg

"s" key = rotate (based on mouse vertical location)

Click mouse to toggle perspective vs. orthographic views

To filter data:
- hold down "x" key to filter X axis
- position mouse in Set Range box (start w/ a low setting)
- position mouse in Set IP box

Other keys for filtering process:
- "y" key for Y axis
- "z" key for Z axis
- "b" key for size of square
- "c" key for color of square


Weblog visualization

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A couple years ago, my coworkers & I started looking at visualizing & sonifying large data sets. One such readily accessible dataset was IST's weblogs which contain IP info of visitors to IST's webpages. My thought was to break the IP addresses into their 4 octets and use the first 3 as x, y & z locators and the fourth octet as a size parameter for objects. Then use a dark-to-light color scheme to depict the number of pageviews each unique IP visited: dark colors represent a visitor that only visited a few pages while the lighter colors represent IPs that visited dozens and dozens of pages during the 24 hr period.

I initially did this in 3ds Max's scripting language to create the objects/squares which I then exported and brought into our CAVE's immersive 3d environment. I recently started working w/ Processing and recreated this project to allow an analyst to interact w/ this data in a web browser. See below how to filter the data set. 

IP.jpg

24hrs of visitor IPs from weblog file.

"s" key = rotate (based on mouse vertical location)

Click mouse to toggle perspective vs. orthographic views

To filter data:
- hold down "x" key to filter X axis
- position mouse in Set Range box (start w/ a low setting)
- position mouse in Set IP box

Other keys for filtering process:
- "y" key for Y axis
- "z" key for Z axis
- "b" key for size of square
- "c" key for color of square


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