Project: NYTimes GraphMaker
Date: Fall, 2009
Key Concepts: Data vizualization, graphing, NYTimes Article Search API
The New York Times Article Search API gives us access to a mountain of data: more than 2.6 million indexed articles. There must be countless discoveries waiting to be made in this vast pile of information – we just need more people with shovels! With that in mind, I wanted to release a really simple example of using Processing to access word trend information from the Article Search API. Since I made this project in February, the clever folks at the NYT research lab have released an online tool to explore word trends, but I think it’s useful to have the Processing code released for those of us who want to poke around the data in a slightly deeper way. Indeed, I hope this sketch can act as a starting point for people to take some more involved forays into the dataset – it is ripe to be customized and changed and improved.
This is the simplest project I’m sharing in this now multi-week source release. It should be a nice starting point for those of you who have some programming experience but haven’t done too much in the way of data visualization. As always, if you have questions, feel free to send me an e-mail or post in the comments section below.
You can see a whole pile of radial and standard bar graphs that I made with this sketch earlier in the year in this Flickr set.
You’ll need the toxiclibs core, which you can download here. Put the unzipped library into the ‘libraries’ folder in your sketchbook (if there isn’t one already, create one).
Put the folder ‘NYT_GraphMaker’ into your Processing sketch folder. Open Processing and open the sketch from the File > Sketchbook menu. You’ll find detailed instructions in the header of the main tab (theNYT_GraphMaker.pde file).
It’s starting to get a bit repetitive, but once again this file depends on Karsten Schmidt’s toxiclibs. These libraries are so good they should ship with Processing.
This software is licensed under the CC-GNU GPL version 2.0 or later.