Geeks With Blogs
John Conwell: aka Turbo Research in the visual exploration of data April 2010 Entries
Create Pivot collections much faster than DeepZoomTools CollectionCreator class
I've been playing with Microsoft Live Labs Pivot to create a hierarchy of collections all linked together to allow someone to explore a hierarchy of data visually. The problem has been the generation time of the entire hierarchy. I end up creating 500 - 600 collections total and it takes hours and hours using the CollectionCreator class that comes with the DeepZoomTools. So digging around I found a way to make the actual DeepZoom collection creation wicked fast. Dont use the CollectionCreator! Turns ......

Posted On Friday, April 23, 2010 9:20 AM

Creating SparseImages for Pivot
Learning how to programmatically make collections for Microsoft Live Labs Pivot has been a pretty interesting ride. There are very few examples out there, and the folks at MS Live Labs are often slow on any feedback. But that is what Reflector is for, right? Well, I was creating these InfoCard images (similar to the Car images in the "New Cars" sample collection that that MS created for Pivot), and wanted to put a Tag Cloud into the info card. The problem was the size of the tag cloud might vary ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 14, 2010 9:01 AM

Seeking questions about creating Microsoft Live Labs Pivot collections
I've spent the past 3 weeks working a lot with Pivot from Microsoft Live Labs (http://getpivot.com/). Pivot is a tool that allows you to visually explore data. Its an interesting take on visual data mining. Anyway, I've been writing a lot of code that creates a hierarchy of Pivot collections, where one item in the collection drills down into an entirly new collection. The dev community around Pivot is still very young, so there isnt much tribal knowledge built up yet. I've spent a lot of time trying ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 13, 2010 4:27 PM

Did Microsoft designers got their butts kicked 3 years ago?
This is something I've been wondering about for about a year now. Microsoft has a history of creating very useful products, with lots of useful features. But useful does not mean usable. A lot of stuff coming out of Redmond the past 10 years don't really seem to have been well thought out from a user design point of view. Lots of extra steps, lots of popup windows...very little innovative thinking going on about the user experience of these products.But about a year ago I started seeing changes in ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 13, 2010 2:40 PM

Change in Job Title and Responsibilities
I've spent the past 7 years focused primarily on code and database performance. It's an area that I have a passion for, as well as a propensity. But what I've found is that its very hard to change the culture of a development environment. You can teach performance, you can encourage performance, you might see slight shift in how devs think about performance. But without full management backing and support you wont get long lasting changes in the development culture. And in the end, you are back to ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 13, 2010 1:04 PM

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