Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities
An introduction to concepts, techniques, and best practices in programing interactive web-based data visualizations for students new to the fields of computation and information design.
   
Description Spring 2019

This course introduces key concepts and techniques in interactive data visualization to students who are new to the field of computation and information design. Through a series of in-class exercises and take-home assignments, students will critically engage with visual representations of data and produce interactive visualizations that serve analytical and narrative purposes.

Students complete weekly or bi-weekly tutorials on technical topics that are useful in creating interactive web-based visualizations. These exercises complement in-class code demonstrations and lectures on design principles and critical perspectives. The lectures and exercises are designed to allow students to apply data-centered practices to their own disciplines and areas of research. Students will complete a final project based on their own interests.

Course Topics

Applied:

  • Information Design Concepts
  • Data Visualization Workflows
  • Design Principles for Interactivity
  • Basic Programing for the Web: HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • Interactive Visualizations with D3

Theoretical:

  • History and origin of data representation
  • Current research in data visualization
  • Overview of the data visualization field
  • Critical approaches, practices, and works

Tutorial Topics

  • HTML & CSS
  • Github
  • Javascript
  • D3 series: intro to more advanced
Spring 2019 Registration Information

Friday 9-11am
ARCH A4890, call number: 88396
Instructor: Jia Zhang, Mellon Associate Research Scholar in the Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Open to students within GSAS, GSAPP, Barnard and Columbia Colleges, School of General Studies, and others by permission.

 
Points Unknown: Cartographic Narratives
In this course students will explore new forms of site analysis through pairing geospatial analysis, mapping, and storytelling.
   
Course Description

Society is increasingly dependent on data and computation, a dependence that often evolves invisibly, without any critical assessment or accountability. In New York City, with its mandate to make data public, students have an opportunity to learn how to question data through journalistic lines of inquiry: What data are made public? What data are kept hidden? Who was involved what data are included and excluded? Who wasn't? What do they say about life in the city? How are neighborhoods rendered in data and what are the consequences of those representations? What undiscovered stories can be found in the data?

Spatial/Data training paired with journalism can serve as a missing “integrator” of data and the real world—providing lessons that travel beyond the boroughs of New York. A wide array of available data- and spatial-visualization tools can extend journalistic practice, helping reporters better find, understand, and tell stories. These same tools can expose the invisible spaces, forces, and environments that architecture, urban design, and planning students must engage, navigate, and learn to represent as part of their data/spatial toolkits.

Points Unknown will train journalism and architecture students in data analysis and mapping/GIS techniques. Through pairing the processes of architecture and some of the skills of journalism, this course will explore sites in the New York City/Hudson Valley Region, selected for their unique connection to the city, their effect on certain demographic populations, and their environmental impact.

Students will work under the direction of an editor to explore and report on a select site, spending the semester researching and constructing a geospatial narrative. Students will learn, from start to finish, how to find, clean, analyze, and visualize data. In some instances, this will result in analysis of data that does not include a spatial component. In others, this will result in beautiful and illustrative visualizations. In all instances, students will learn how to investigate their identified site through data. Students will research the site, conduct interviews, gather data, perform exploratory data analysis, and learn various geospatial visualization techniques to produce a comprehensive narrative.

To the architect and designer, the class will provide exposure to journalistic techniques, reshaping their traditional approach to a site survey. To the social scientist, it will provide new modes of expression. To the journalist, the class will provide skills-based training for data analysis and visualization, both for reporting and publication. And to the humanities students, this will be an intensive introduction to data and visualization.

The full syllabus is available here

Spring 2019 Registration Information

Friday 11-1pm
A4063
Call number: 86396
Points: 3

Instructors: Grga Basic, Associate Research Scholar in the Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Michael Krisch, Deputy Director, Brown Institute for Media Innovation

Points Unknown—designed jointly by faculty at the Graduate School of Journalism and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation—is funded by Collaboratory, a new university-wide program led by the Data Science Institute and Columbia Entrepreneurship to catalyze interdisciplinary curricular collaboration.

 
Apply for Summer 2017 Student Positions

The Center for Spatial Research is seeking student candidates for both full-time and part-time positions during Summer 2017.

Students will be responsible for data analysis, visualization, map design, and research on projects dealing with our current research focus: conflict urbanism. Students will work extensively with spatial data including mining and analyzing data, processing and collecting data, and/or visualizing data in compelling and innovative ways.  Working in close collaboration with principal investigators, students will produce work for inclusion in papers, multi-media projects, and exhibitions.

Candidates must have experience with GIS and Adobe Creative Suite. In addition, a working knowledge of some of the following tools is a plus: Processing, Python, D3, R, APIs, Microsoft Access, SQL, Stata/SPSS, HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

We are seeking candidates who have experience with computational tools but are also eager to acquire additional skills through the course of their internship. CSR researchers will mentor successful candidates and match them with projects which help them build additional fluencies with computational methods.

Full-time positions are 35 hours per week for up to twelve weeks. Part-time work will be negotiated by student/project. All positions are $15/hour. Please note positions are only available for continuing students at Columbia University. 

Please send a letter of interest, CV, and relevant work examples to info@c4sr.columbia.edu

Applications will be reviewed in the order there are received. 

News Archive
Title Initiative Category Date
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Project
Access to Taxicabs for Unbanked Households: An Exploratory Analysis in New York City
person role
Author(s): 
Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, David A. King
Publication date: 
Friday, January 27, 2017
Publication name, page number: 
Journal of Public Transportation
Description (optional): 
Taxicabs are critical complements to public transit systems. In New York City, ubiquitous yellow cabs are as iconic as the city’s subway system, and the city recently added green taxicabs to improve taxi service in areas outside of the Central Business Districts and airports. In this paper, we used multiple datasets to explore taxicab fare payments by neighborhood and examine how paid taxicab fares are associated with use of conventional banking services. There are clear spatial dimensions of the propensity of riders to pay cash, and we found that both immigrant status and being “unbanked” are strong predictors of cash transactions. These results have implications for local regulations of the for-hire vehicle industry, particularly in the context of the rapid growth of services that require credit cards to use. At the very least, existing and new providers of transit services must consider access to mainstream financial products as part of their equity analyses.
Intro text (homepage): 
In this paper, we used multiple datasets to explore taxicab fare payments by neighborhood and examine how paid taxicab fares are associated with use of conventional banking services. There are clear spatial dimensions of the propensity of riders to pay cash, and we found that both immigrant status and being “unbanked” are strong predictors of cash transactions. These results have implications for local regulations of the for-hire vehicle industry, particularly in the context of the rapid growth of services that require credit cards to use.
Lead image: 
Author Last Names for table: 
King, Saldarriaga
Publication short title (carousel): 
Access to Taxicabs for Unbanked Households
Is Website?: 
no
dashboard_sort_date: 
Friday, January 27, 2017
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Just Published: Access to Taxicabs for Unbanked Households

"Access to Taxicabs for Unbanked Households: An Exploratory Analysis in New York City," by David King and CSR Research Scholar, Juan Francisco Saldarriaga has been published in the Journal of Public Transportation. In this paper, we used multiple datasets to explore taxicab fare payments by neighborhood and examine how paid taxicab fares are associated with use of conventional banking services

Abstract: Taxicabs are critical complements to public transit systems. In New York City, ubiquitous yellow cabs are as iconic as the city’s subway system, and the city recently added green taxicabs to improve taxi service in areas outside of the Central Business Districts and airports. In this paper, we used multiple datasets to explore taxicab fare payments by neighborhood and examine how paid taxicab fares are associated with use of conventional banking services. There are clear spatial dimensions of the propensity of riders to pay cash, and we found that both immigrant status and being “unbanked” are strong predictors of cash transactions. These results have implications for local regulations of the for-hire vehicle industry, particularly in the context of the rapid growth of services that require credit cards to use. At the very least, existing and new providers of transit services must consider access to mainstream financial products as part of their equity analyses.

Download the full article here

 

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Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
An introduction to data visualization theory and methods for students entirely new to the fields of computation and information design
   
Description

Through a series of in-class exercises and take-home assignments, students will learn how to critically engage and produce interactive data visualization pieces that can serve as exploratory and analytical tools. The course will be centered around a semester long data visualization group project, through which the students will learn the basics of data visualization, data analysis, data collection, programming and version control. However, even though the course will teach specific visualization tools, the main conceptual thread will be centered around how to work with data, both in the humanities and in architecture and urbanism. Students will define their final projects around their own interests, and will bring their own datasets into their final projects.

View the syllabus and all course materials here

 
Science Surveyor Demo Launched at the Brown Media Innovation Showcase at Stanford University
Prof. Marguerite Holloway and Prof. Dan Jurafsky presenting the Science Surveyor project

Science Surveyor Demo was launched at the first annual Brown Institute Media Innovation Showcase at Stanford University. Science Surveyor is a tool developed for science journalists that uses cutting-edge algorithms to characterize the scientific literature on a selected topic. Using the abstract and citations of a peer-reviewed paper, Surveyor provides journalists context about that paper in several easy-to-read visualizations.

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CSR Researcher Juan Francisco Saldarriaga to Speak at Bloomberg – Data for Good Exchange
Sep 15, 2016 — Spatial Information Design Lab

Juan Francisco Saldarriaga will be presenting his recent paper ‘Access to Taxicabs for Unbanked Households’ during the Data for Good Exchange yearly conference at Bloomberg. The conference will take place on September 25th, 2016. Here’s a description of the presentation: Taxicabs are a critical aspect of the public transit system in New York City. Ubiquitous yellow cabs are as iconic as the city’s subway system, and the city recently added green taxicabs to improve taxi service in areas outside of the central business districts and airports. In this paper we use multiple datasets to explore taxicab fare payments by neighborhood and examine how paid taxicab fares are associated with use of conventional banking services. There are clear spatial dimensions of the propensity of riders to pay cash, and we find that both immigrant status and being ‘unbanked’ are strong predictors of cash transactions. These results have implications for local regulations of the for-hire vehicle industry, particularly in the context of the rapid growth of services that require credit cards. At the very least, existing and new providers of transit services must consider access to mainstream financial products as part of their equity analyses.

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Title Initiative Category Date
{{news.node.full_title}} {{news.node.initiative}} {{news.node.news_category}} {{news.node.posted_ts * 1000 | date: 'MMM d, yyyy'}}
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Columbia Data Science Society Lecture - Next Level Data Visualization

Juan Francisco Saldarriaga will be presenting multiple center projects emphasizing process and code for the Data Science Society at Columbia University. He will describe in detail how to gather data from public APIs and how to use different visualization tools to produce compelling graphics.

Read more.

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Project
Jumping the Great Firewall
person role
Author(s): 
Dan Taeyoung
Publication date: 
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Publication name, page number: 
Spatial Information Design Lab
Description (optional): 
This project visualizes a relatively new phenomenon: online free expression in China. It examines some innovative strategies employed by users of Weibo, a Twitter–like micro–blogging platform, in order to avoid government censorship bloggers post images as text. Images are much more difficult for automated search programs to analyze, which allows image-based content to spread more widely before it is detected and removed. Taking advantage of this, some users now turning writing into images, taking screenshots of their own and others' controversial posts before they're removed, then posting and re–posting them. The project visualizes Weibo posts that were posted and deleted between September 8th to November 13th, in 2013.
Intro text (homepage): 
This project visualizes a relatively new phenomenon: online free expression in China. It examines some innovative strategies employed by users of Weibo, a Twitter–like micro–blogging platform, in order to avoid government censorship bloggers post images as text. Images are much more difficult for automated search programs to analyze, which allows image-based content to spread more widely before it is detected and removed. Taking advantage of this, some users now turning writing into images, taking screenshots of their own and others' controversial posts before they're removed, then posting and re–posting them. The project visualizes Weibo posts that were posted and deleted between September 8th to November 13th, in 2013.
Lead image: 
Author C4SR: 
Author Last Names for table: 
Project Lead: Dan Taeyoung
Publication short title (carousel): 
Jumping the Great Firewall
Is Website?: 
yes
dashboard_sort_date: 
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
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