Author Archives: Michael

My app was just on TV

CNN just did a piece on the influx of people into DC for the inauguration.  Several of the tools the CATT Lab has developed are going to be used to help manage the traffic problems that are guaranteed to crop up as a result. Embedded video from <a href=”” mce_href=””>CNN Video</a> It’s a quick spot, […]

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The ComparisonMatrix component… or Playboy Playmates and the Economy

One of the challenges of information visualization is to present data in a way that allows the interesting patterns to rise to above the noise.  The ComparisonMatrix allows users to quickly assess where these patterns are so they can make an informed decision about where to start exploring.  To do this, the ComparisonMatrix breaks a […]

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How to check if you’re running a debug swf

There was a brief thread on flexcoders recently about how to check if an swf was built for debugging or for release.  With this check you can build all sorts of debugging diagnostics into your application and then compile an unaffected release build without changing any code. There is no built in way to perform […]

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Presenting at DC’s World Usability Day Event

Today is World Usability Day, and this year’s theme is transportation. I’ll be presenting the work I’ve been doing at the CATT Lab at DC’s local Usability Day event. The title of my poster is Real-time and Historic Incident Visualization Using Timelines, and it describes an application that allows users to understand everything that has […]

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Adding hints to Flex 3 MXML tags

ColdFusion tags can be annotated with the hint attribute, effectively creating a surrogate for single line comments. This is something I’ve wanted to be able to do in MXML for a while, and I’m glad to see the Gumbo specs include this feature in the form of private attributes.  If you can’t wait for Flex […]

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Parallel Coordinates Plot in Flex

I spent the past few weekends writing a parallel coordinates plot.   For the uninitiated, parallel coordinates plots are used to show the relationships between items in a multidimensional dataset.  Three dimensional data points can be difficult enough to visualize on a two dimensional screen, and when you throw even more dimensions into the problem, things […]

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Memory leak caused by setTimeout

I have a Cairngorm-based application that polls a server for data every few seconds.  To do this I have a command that initiates the server request, and in the result handler I set a timeout.  When that timeout is up, I dispatch the event that is responsible for kicking off the command in the first […]

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HeatMap added to Google Code Repository

I’ve started a Google Code repository Github repository for all of my little experiments.  At the moment it just has the HeatMap component, but — baring any unforeseen circumstances — it will soon flourish.  You can check it out here.

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HeatMapping the Spread of WalMart

I recently came across a post on FlowingData with a visualization showing the growth of the WalMart chain over the years.  It’s very well done, but all those icons really clutter up the map.  The fact that they’re semi-transparent makes it possible to distinguish the dense areas from the sparse ones, but it’s difficult to […]

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How to make heat maps in Flex

Last semester I worked with Darya Filippova, Joonghoon Lee, Andreea Olea, and Krist Wongsuphasawat on a project for Ben Shneiderman’s Information Visualization course.  We took a subset of the accident data collected by the CATT Lab and built a tool to help figure out why certain stretches of road have a higher number of accidents […]

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