The DataPlay workshop was a 4 day workshop in which we had to create playful infographics with information extracted from a dynamic database.
The hardest and most frustrating part of this workshop was the information gathering part which was made in groups. After a few days of gathering, I had to accept the fact that there are only very few dynamic databases and that those who are actually available aren’t that easy to use. Twitter, for example is a pain in the ass, first of all you need PHP which is a language that I don’t know at all (thanks god our teachers helped us out on this) and depending on the resources you want to access you can only make 15 requests every 15 minutes (#pleaseDontRefreshTooOften). Somehow being forced to work with Twitter, our group chooses to extract the most popular tweets in a certain country, in my case Belgium.
From there the individual work started, I had to understand the structure of the JSON that was given by Twitter and sort out the Information that I wanted, I kept the tweet topic and the number of times it has been tweeted. For the visual part I went for a solar system, with the planet size being proportional with the number of times the tweet has been tweeted, on a mouse over you can get more information and to make things more playful I added a function that changes the color of the planets randomly.
Unfortunately, I faced a few difficulties. In the end I couldn’t implement the « choose your galaxy » feature where you could have changed to a different country and I was unable due to my lack of PHP knowledge to lower the server requests to maybe 1 every 5 minutes.