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Author: George Gorczynski

Random Walk from Processing to Tableau

For another submission to Viz as Art contest at Tableau, I wanted to create something involving randomness and random walk specifically. But I found that the classic random walk algorithm creates results that are, well…too random, as opposed to the organic, botanical shapes I was looking for. Luckily, someone has already thought of developing a “Random Walk with Transition Probabilities that Depend on Direction of Motion”. It sounds nerdy, but that is just the recipe that Mother Nature uses to build branches on a blueberry bush, dandelion’s see head or the maple tree outside my window.  In particular, a particle...

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Lorenz Attractor – There is Chaos in Tableau!

Inspired by the work of Noah Salvaterra and his beautiful Tableau visualizations of fractals and L-Systems, I made this visual of the Lorenz Strange Attractor. Edward Lorenz, a meteorologist and mathematician,  developed a set of equations to model atmospheric convection. When plotted in 3-dimensional space, the equations generate a beautiful pattern. If you want to know more, here is a nice introduction to Chaos Theory. How did I make the plot in Tableau? I used Processing to generate the points (see code below) but this could could as easily be done in Excel. PrintWriter textFile; //set parameters float h=0.008;...

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Photo Art in Tableau

Do you know what pointillism is? It’s a technique of painting with small distinct dots to create an image. And you can do this with Tableau! Well, sort of. I made this series of pointillistic representations of well known photographs and paintings for Tableau’s Viz As Art contest. Be sure to click on the “photoart” tab to view my collection of 10 images, as well at the “revolution” tab. I used Processing to extract each pixel’s coordinate and colour value, convert RGB colour values to greyscale and output the table to a text file. The Processing code is listed...

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Capital Punishment in the United States

This is my entry to the Tableau Storytelling Viz Contest. I wanted to draw attention to the issue of the capital punishment in the United States. US, along with Japan, are the only G8 countries where the death penalty is still legal and vigorously exercised. And with the number of executions conducted each year, US is ranked among countries like Iran, Iraq, China, North Korea or Saudi Arabia. Considering these countries’ human rights violation track record, US does not want to belong to that club. I started with some fast facts about the death penalty, followed by a chart showing...

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Data Scraping with Google Refine and Excel

I was recently looking for information on the death penalty in the US and came across the website of Texas Department of Criminal Justice and their full list of offenders executed since 1982. Grim topic, without question, yet good example of interesting web data ready to be scraped. Here’s how I extracted data from the TDCJ website. To get started, open this web page, select and copy all entries in the table and paste it in an Excel spreadsheet. This should give you a nice table, including data and links to “Offender Information” and “Last Statement” pages for each record. These subpages...

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