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21:06

Visualising data with the Datapress WordPress plugin

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Here’s a useful plugin for bloggers working with data: Datapress allows you to quickly visualise a dataset as a table, timeline, scatter plot, bar chart, ‘intelligent list’ (allowing you to sort by more than one value at once – see this example) or map.

Once installed, the plugin adds a new button to the ‘Upload/Insert’ row in the post edit view which you can click to link to a dataset in the same way as you would embed an image or video.

The plugin is in beta at the moment and takes a bit of getting used to. There’s a convention you have to follow in naming Google spreadsheet columns, for example – this Glasgow Vegan Guide spreadsheet has quite a few of them – but this could add some new visualisation possibilities. It seems particularly nice for lists and maps (if you have lat-long values), although Google spreadsheet’s built-in charts options will obviously be quicker for simple graphs and charts.

The plugin has a demo site with some impressive examples and the developers are happy to help with any problems. It’s also up for the Knight News Challenge if you want to support it.

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