The TWDB so far, Visualized in Tableau

Ok, well this trend of making nifty circle charts out of your collection data seems to have caught fire, and you guys know how I am about jumping on the latest Typospherian trend, so here you go:

This is a chart showing the best-represented manufacturers in all the gallery entries of the Typewriter Database. Size means more entries, darker greens mean more photo representation. From this chart you can easily see the heavy American influence, and oddly the fact that while there are more Royals in the Database than Smith-Coronas, it’s the Smiths that have more photos uploaded. Make of that what you will. (:

Of course, to get the data to make this chart, I had to do something to the Database to make it easy for me to download a formatted CSV file. Because I abhor redundancy and making a tiny tool when a much more comprehensive tool would be just as easy to make, I re-purposed the script that feeds JSON to the search tables so that it now instead outputs a formatted CSV file when it is simply given the “output=csv” flag. This is in addition to the flags for the searches it already does when outputting JSON. The clever among you should have light bulbs hovering over your head right about now, because this means that any query that can be executed on the normal database search can also be invoked so that it outputs a nice CSV file of the result, ready to download and import into Tableau or Many Eyes, or whatever tool you see fit to play around with.

Now, since use of this tool in its full capacity is something that requires the equivalent of command-line knowledge of the syntax, I’ll have to wait on a full reveal until I can write up something on how to use it. In the meantime, know that it’s built, it works, and it’s ready to use – assuming you’re clever enough to figure out how to find it and use it on your own given the clues I’ve dropped. :D

UPDATE: ahh, fuggle it, I just went ahead and added links in a lot of places in the database. Look for a little folder icon that says “Download CSV file of…”. enjoy!

Updated: March 28, 2014 — 1:53 pm


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  1. Yes! You ARE the man! Feeling the bubble chart love. ;-)

  2. 73% of this was in a foreign language for me, but it’s fun! ;)

  3. Nice work! I have to go and play around on the DB a bit. Doing taxes this week. If I get time I may take photos and see if I can bump-up the Hermes & Adler content.

    A real challenge will be to sub-bubble the brands into the models.

  4. Bubbleiscious! I probably understand less than Richard, which I count a good thing.

  5. Very interesting & great work!

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