Scholarly Smackdown: StoryMap JS vs. Story Maps

In today’s very spatial Scholarly Smackdown post we are covering two popular mapping visualization products, Story Maps and StoryMap JS.Yes they both have “story” and “map” in the name and they both let you create interactive multimedia maps without needing a server. However, they are different products!

StoryMap JS

StoryMap JS, from the Knight Lab at Northwestern, is a simple tool for creating interactive maps and timelines for journalists and historians with limited technical experience.

One  example of a project on StoryMap JS is “Hockey, hip-hop, and other Green Line highlights” by Andy Sturdevant for the Minneapolis Post, which connects the stops of the Green Line train to historical and cultural sites of St. Paul and Minneapolis Minnesota.

StoryMap JS uses Google products and map software from OpenStreetMap.

Using the StoryMap JS editor, you create slides with uploaded or linked media within their template. You then search the map and select a location and the slide will connect with the selected point. You can embed your finished map into your website, but Google-based links can deteriorate over time! So save copies of all your files!

More advanced users will enjoy the Gigapixel mode which allows users to create exhibits around an uploaded image or a historic map.

Story Maps

Story maps is a custom map-based exhibit tool based on ArcGIS online.

My favorite example of a project on Story Maps is The Great New Zealand Road Trip by Andrew Douglas-Clifford, which makes me want to drop everything and go to New Zealand (and learn to drive). But honestly, I can spend all day looking at the different examples in the Story Maps Gallery.

Story Maps offers a greater number of ways to display stories than StoryMap JS, especially in the paid version. The paid version even includes a crowdsourced Story Map where you can incorporate content from respondents, such as their 2016 GIS Day Events map.

With a free non-commercial public ArcGIS Online account you can create a variety of types of maps. Although it does not appear there is to overlay a historical map, there is a comparison tool which could be used to show changes over time. In the free edition of this software you have to use images hosted elsewhere, such as in Google Photos. Story Maps are created through their wizard where you add links to photos/videos, followed by information about these objects, and then search and add the location. It is very easy to use and almost as easy as StoryMap JS. However, since this is a proprietary software there are limits to what you can do with the free account and perhaps worries about pricing and accessing materials at a later date.

Overall, can’t really say there’s a clear winner. If you need to tell a story with a map, both software do a fine job, StoryMap JS is in my totally unscientific opinion slightly easier to use, but we have workshops for Story Maps here at Scholarly Commons!  Either way you will be fine even with limited technical or map making experience.

If you are interested in learning more about data visualization, ArcGIS Story Maps, or geopatial data in general, check out these upcoming workshops here at Scholarly Commons, or contact our GIS expert, James Whitacre!

Love and Big Data

Can big data help you find true love?

It’s Love Your Data Week, but did you know people have been using Big Data for to optimize their ability to find their soul mate with the power of data science! Wired Magazine profiled mathematician and data scientist Chris McKinlay in “How to Hack OkCupid“.There’s even a book spin-off from this! “Optimal Cupid”, which unfortunately is not at any nearby libraries.

But really, we know you’re all wondering, where can I learn the data science techniques needed to find “The One”, especially if I’m not a math genius?

ETHICS NOTE: WE DO NOT ENDORSE OR RECOMMEND TRYING TO CREATE SPYWARE, ESPECIALLY NOT ON COMPUTERS IN THE SPACE. WE ALSO DON’T GUARANTEE USING BIG DATA WILL HELP YOU FIND LOVE.

What did Chris McKinlay do?

Methods used:

  • Automating tasks, such as writing a python script to answer questions on OKCupid
  • Scraping data from dating websites
  • Surveying
  • Statistical analysis
  • Machine learning to figure out how to rank the importance of answers of questions
  • Bots to visit people’s pages
  • Actually talking to people in the real world!

Things we can help you with at Scholarly Commons:

Selected workshops and resources, come by the space to find more!

Whether you reach out to us by email, phone, or in-person our experts are ready to help with all of your questions and helping you make the most of your data! You might not find “The One” with our software tools, but we can definitely help you have a better relationship with your data!

Register for Spring 2017 Workshops at CITL!

Exciting news for anyone interested in learning the basics of statistical and qualitative analysis software! Registration is open for workshops to be held throughout spring semester at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning! There will be workshops on ATLAS.ti, R, SAS, Stata, SPSS, and Questionnaire Design on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in February and March from 5:30-7:30 pm. To learn more details and to register click here to go to the workshops offered by CITL page. And if you need a place to use these statistical and qualitative software packages, such as to practice the skills you gained at the workshops stop by Scholarly Commons, Monday-Friday 9 am- 6 pm! And don’t forget, you can also schedule a consultation with our experts here for specific questions about using statistical and qualitative analysis software for your research!

JMP Pro Pilot Run at the Scholarly Commons Through March 14

Library patrons have the opportunity to use JMP Pro predictive analytics software through March 14 at the Scholarly Commons. JMP Pro is a sophisticated statistical discover tool from SAS designed for advanced data science. Two Scholarly Commons computers are currently equipped with version 12. To learn more about the software, visit the JMP Pro website or the Webstore’s product page.

During this trial period, we are hoping to get a sense of whether this software would provide a useful tool for our patrons. We encourage anyone who is interested in this opportunity to visit the Scholarly Commons to take JMP Pro for a test drive and share your thoughts about the software with us. If you’re an experienced JMP Pro user, we’d also love to hear about your impressions of the package. You can contact us by email, or leave a message in the comments below.

 

 

ICPSR 2014 Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research

Still making a list of summer plans? As you gear up for summer, keep in mind that the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan is offering a wide range of classes on quantitative data-analysis. Whether you are a beginner or you are ready to study more advanced techniques, the program has something unique to offer each individual. Course instruction is centered around interactive, participatory data-analysis within a broader context of substantive social research.

Courses for the summer 2014 program are offered in two four-week sessions, May through August. These sessions include lecture, seminar, and workshop formats with participants from a diverse range of departments, universities, and organizations.

The following are a few examples of courses that will be offered:

Basic Foundation
Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis
Introduction to Regression
Introduction to Computing

Linear Models and Beyond
Regression Analysis
Hierarchical Linear and Multilevel Models
Categorical Data Analysis

Substantive Topics
Race and Ethnicity
Curating Data & Providing Data Services
Designing, Conducting, and Analyzing Field Experiments

Advanced Techniques
Applied Bayesian Modeling
Advanced Time Series
The R Statistical Computing Environment

Multivariate Techniques
Multivariate Statistical methods
Scaling and Dimensional Analysis
Intro & Advanced Network Analysis

Formal Modeling
Game Theory
Rational Choice
Empirical Modeling for Theory Evaluation

Registration is now open. There are also a few free workshops that will be offered over the summer, but registration for those sessions ends May 15, 2014 and seats are limited!

For a full list of courses, fee and discount information, and to fill out an application visit the website.

Questions?
Call: (734) 763-7400
Email: sumprog@icpsr.umich.edu

The Thinking Eye: a presentation by Edward Tufte

This April Edward Tufte, a statistician and professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University, will be giving a presentation at the University of Illinois in Foellinger Auditorium. Topics of the presentation include evidence and inference, strategies for identifying excellence, and practical advice for seeing better in the real world and on the glowing flat rectangle of the computer screen.

Edward Tufte, or ET as he is commonly called, is a man who has dedicated his life to the complex understanding of the important connections between science, technology, and art. As a data theorist and visualization pioneer, he is interested in demonstrating what happens in the place where art meets science to create awe-inspiring displays of data sets. As an expert in informational graphics and design, his work varies from data-rich illustrations to sculpture, and even entire landscape pieces such as his 243-acre landscape sculpture park and tree farm in Woodbury, Connecticut. He has also written and designed 4 books: Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations, and Beautiful Evidence. The vastness and beauty of his work has prompted such publications as The New York Times and Business Week to call him “The Leonardo da Vinci of Data” and the “Galileo of Graphics.”

An incredible example of his ability to visually convey an understanding of data sets is his art exhibit, “The Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams.” Feynman diagrams, named after Richard Feynman, are diagrams that show what happens when elementary particles collide. Though these diagrams already represent a visual display of data sets, Tufte brings the diagrams into a three-dimensional optical experience using stainless steel that completely alters the ways in which we communicate with and understand the data they represent. These stainless steel sculptures hanging from the walls represent the space-time paths taken by all subatomic particles in the entire universe using just 120 diagrams. It’s safe to say that he takes the word “visionary” to a whole new level. ET’s art exhibit, “The Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams,” will be at the Fermilab Art Gallery in Batavia, Illinois (near Chicago) from April 15 to June 26.

For more information on this and his many other projects you can visit his website and you can check out his twitter.

You can also take a look at all 4 of his books in the Data Presentation and Visualization Collection in the Scholarly Commons. If you would like to get hands on experience with your own data visualization projects, check out the Savvy Researcher Workshop, “Visualizing Your Data” on April 9th. For more information and to register take a look at the Savvy Researcher Calendar.

April 10, 2014 7:00 pm
Foellinger Auditorium, UIUC
This event is sponsored by NCSA and is free and open to the public.