#libday8 visualizer

Building on my previous post about mapping libday8, what I really want is a dashboard where I can drop in and get the pulse of things — see what’s going on in people’s library lives right now, dip my toe in the stream and feel the variety, not try to keep up with the enormous volume of data. So I built a libday8 visualizer.

This uses a Google map as previously described (updated with today’s data — it’s slow and mysteriously twitchy about displaying properly, so if you don’t see it, try again later or try the Google link; haven’t figured that out yet — but I did fix the iframe issue via finding a WordPress plugin allowing me to do iframes). I’m also:

  • pulling in the Flickr libday8 tag via RSS, with the WordPress RSS in Page plugin. (Also libday7, just to fill out that space while we wait for libday8 to have much content).
  • using the standard Twitter widget (with a customized color scheme) to pull in the #libday8 hashtag.
  • pulling in the libday8 tag from WordPress.com, also via RSS, though via some other strategy I have apparently already completely forgotten. This is by no means all the blogs involved in Library Day in the Life, but it’s a lot easier to pull in the wordpress.com tag via RSS than it is to use some actual Python or something to munge the social media field from pbworks, and I’m feeling lazy.

How I’d make it better (because it’s always good to reflect & learn!):

  • Figure out what the deal is with the map not reliably displaying.
  • Spend some more time on the Flickr custom CSS to deal more intelligently with the range of image aspect ratios.
  • Figure out why my data-munging didn’t preserve links to people’s social media, so I could display it properly in placemarks.
  • Do the data-munging to break out everyone’s blogs, and figure out how to turn that into an RSS aggregator searching those blogs for the libday8 tag. (Or perhaps short-circuit this step by figuring out what table structure would remove most of the munging overhead, and ask Bobbi pretty please to structure the libday9 table for my personal convenience. πŸ˜‰
  • Figure out how to munge the data about library type/employer so as to provide some sort of faceting on all this.

Anyway, I had fun doing this and I’m hoping it will be a fun way for me, and you, to experience libday8.

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