Course page

Visualization and Visual Analytics


Visualization and Visual Analytics

This is my course page for the CS 424 Visualization and Visual Analytics at UIC. I'll constantly update the page with articles and projects done during the semester.


Daily weather forecasts

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Week I 18th January 2019

I remember when I was a kid and my dad used to turn on the tv every morning to listen to the news and weather forecasts, I believe it was a very time-consuming process to just wait for a broadcast service such as a tv or a radio to tell you what you should wear based on the weather. A few years later we switched to weather forecasts through the internet. That was a huge time improvement, with a week lookup you could understand what to wear for the entire week.

Today my daily weather forecasts source is an app on my phone. In particular, for efficiency reasons, I mostly look at the widget on the home screen of my phone. The Android app is called “Weather & Clock Widget”, it is light, fast and useful, below you can see a screenshot of my phone’s home screen.

pic Phone's home screen

Just by a quick look in the morning I get all the information about the current weather outside. It is true that I could just look outside the window to understand if it’s cloudy, sunny or if it’s raining, but what about the temperature? Especially in a Chicago winter it could be sunny and freezing or cloudy and “warm”. I really like this widget for its non-invasive user interface, it’s minimalistic and functional, the only two possible interactions are the update button and to just open the app by clicking anywhere on the widget.

By opening the app we find much more information, both for the current weather and weather forecasts for the day and week. Most of the time if I’m scared that it will rain or snow during the day I open the app and check whether I should prepare for precipitations. From the main activity of the app users can visualize the symbolic representation of the current weather and for those who really don’t get it there is also a textual representation below (i.e. Cloudy, Sunny..). It also says what it feels like outside in temperature, based on the humidity and other factors humans perceive the temperature in a different way.

Scrolling down there is the hourly forecasts for the day with symbolic weather and probability that it’s going to rain (the most important fact that you want to know). There is also the predicted temperature and a chart that lets you better visualize the temperature drops and increasing during the day.

Scrolling down there is the same user interface as the daily hour forecasts but for the following 5 days of the week, with a time-series plot of the minimum and maximum predicted temperature. At the bottom there are less useful information for the current weather such as UV index, humidity.

What I like about this app is that all the information are displayed where they should be. The most important information are displayed first and going down and deeper you can find other information. I also like the fact that I can save and change locations and change from Celsius to Fahrenheit, so I can start to think about temperature in the unit measure used in the united states. The information are not too many, so users are not overwhelmed by it, and the user interface is intuitive and nice.

pic Weather application

First Shiny app

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Week II 25th January 2019

This is the first Shiny App I deployed, the purpose was just to learn how to setup and deploy Shiny apps whose instances run on a remote server.
EVL weather Shiny

Color-blindness test

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Week III 1st February 2019

By taking this test: Color-blindness test, I confirmed that I am not color-blind and I don't have any color vision deficiency! This was my result:
pic Score of color-blindness test

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Bussero, MI
20060 Italy

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mrk23 at hotmail dot it

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