Talking viz: “NYC Guide”

In the next few entries I want to talk about the various visualizations I’ve done in my free time, the choices behind it and how they differ from each other.

New York City guide was my first viz to earn a “viz of the day”, August was meant to be a weird and wonderful month for Tableau Public, different ways of visualising data.

With that in mind as my wife and I prepared our first trip to NYC, we kept a list of the places we wanted to visit. The list had bars, restaurants, museums, famous places and shopping of course. Anyone who has been to NYC for a long weekend knows that it will be impossible to visit everything, there’s just too much to see in a short amount of time.

That’s when Tableau came in handy, I wrote that list on an excel spreadsheet and started collating the rest of the data. Added area to give us an idea of where the places we wanted to visit were in relation to each other. After that I added type of attraction, thinking that this would come handy as a filter, day of the trip again this would end up being a filter on the viz. Finally the last bits to add were Address and the Trip Advisor url link.

At this point I was still scratching my head how to get all the coordinates I needed. Some would be easy, however in some cases like “Magnolia Bakery” there are about 5 or 6 branches throughout the city, but my wife wanted to visit the one in Greenwich as this branch featured in “Sex and the City”. That’s when I remembered Interworks free tool to draw polygons aptly named Drawing Tool, It allows you to draw polygons but also you can use it to get the coordinates of specific places even if it’s just the corner of a street.

So I started the lengthy task of looking up all the places we wanted to visit, this was by far the most time consuming task in the whole viz but it was worth it.

Once I had all the data put together I thought it would be a nice challenge to design the dashboard to be used while viewing on a tablet. I’m hopeful we’ll see Tableau Public for android soon or the main site rendering on mobile automatically, but until then we have to do it manually, though Tableau has some ipad and blog ready sizes. Be sure to check as you publish, often we have to make the dashboard a few pixels smaller in order for it to fit well.

The dashboard as you can see below is quite simple, I decided to keep it that way so that navigating on the tablet wasn’t a problem. I used icons for each of the types and colour coded them. The highlight function in Tableau is really handy as it works almost like a third filter. More information can be found here.

The tooltip contains the name of the attraction, the address and url link to the tripadvisor page for that attraction. The idea being we could easily get opening hours and or telephone numbers for reservations etc…

Overall I was really happy with the end result and even more when it became viz of the day on 25th August. We did use it while in NYC, but I’m yearning for the day tableau launches apps for android and I can start designing my dashboards for mobile devices.

Feel free to ask any questions and download the workbook on Tableau Public, just click on the image below.

Thanks for reading


#datavisualisation #tableau