One of my favorite projects recently has been Chattarati’s new data visualization site. Our latest work has been to turn out a webapp that allows users to compare different areas of the City of Chattanooga’s budget both for a single year or across multiple years.
At first we were only going to tackle this year’s budget, so all of the data was in static JSON files which had been converted from CSVs; but it became clear pretty quickly that a lot of the value of this app would come from seeing the trends over time. At that point I moved the data into a MySQL database and wrote a simple API that could be queried via AJAX.
We also wanted to let people embed a chart on any website (in addition to the
image generation options HighCharts provides us). With a bit of tweaking to
suitable for use in an
iframe. See this example:
All of us involved with the project hope that the citizens of Chattanooga find this app useful; it’s also my hope that this article provides a bit of insight into how I tackle a project like this. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments.