Inspiring Ingenuity

Alteryx, Bicycles and Teaching Kids Programming.


Alteryx: Spatial Data Output (GeoJSON)

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Continuing the series prototyping HTML based visualizations, I want to look at spatial data.  One of the strengths of Alteryx is that spatial data is just data.  It doesn’t claim to be a GIS product, it just assumes that every organization has spatial data and would like to process it with the rest of their data and specifically they don’t want to have to use multiple products to do it.

So far in my prototype I have ignored spatial data.  Clearly if we decide to add new visualization features in Alteryx, spatial needs to be a 1st class part of it.  Since this prototype is entirely based on HTML and JavaScript, we need to start with what spatial data looks like in that environment.  Fortunately, there is already a standard for spatial data in JSON: GeoJSON.

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Alteryx: Dot Density Maps

As well as tips for writing reusable macros…

I have been continuing down my path of writing a general interest post about Food Deserts.  Most maps you find online of Food Deserts, or any other phenomenon that happens primarily in rural areas make the issue look much larger than it really is.  Looking at a map of the 2008 US presidential election, you would never guess that the blue team won.  Rural areas are a larger portion of the map than they are of the people and so it is very easy to create a misleading map.  I wanted to explore mapping methodologies that properly shows the scope of an issue – not exaggerating it by making it look bigger or smaller than it actually is.  You can click on all the maps in this post for a larger version.

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Alteryx: Downloading from TIGER

or how do I get free spatial data for Alteryx…

I keep having this big idea for a blog post, but getting sidetracked by things that I need before I start.  Its always nice to share, and I figure many other Alteryx users would have the same needs as me.  Last weeks post, Weighted Medians, was one example of this.  This week, for the next step in what I have been working on, I needed a US Block polygon file.  Blocks are the lowest level for which Census data is tabulated.  The census helpfully makes the polygons available for download on their ftp site, but the data is in a separate ZIP file per state containing SHP files.  What I really want is a single  YXDB file for the entire layer.  Downloading 50+ files and then unzipping and converting by hand sounds like a lot of work.  I am a programmer and programmer’s by nature are lazy, so I wanted to make this process easier. Continue reading


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Alteryx Mapping: UK at Night

I seem to have quite a few readers from the UK on my blog.  After my post last week showing the US at Night I got requests for a UK version.  I don’t have a lot of data for the UK right now, so here is a quick map with the same methodology for UK population.  When I get a copy of the UK census data, I will produce a map set with a bunch of variables like I did for the US.

UK at Night

Click for a much larger version…

Thanks for reading,

ned.