March 19, 2012
Tonight we wrapped up the final project and discussed how well we felt we accomplished our objectives. We were extremely happy with the way the project turned out but felt we could have added so much more functionality if we had more time. By using an IDE and really focusing on an object-oriented model we had a design that scaled much better than our expectations.
We sought to find one view that a user could explore to find out more information on the planets discovered by the Kepler spacecraft. When we started working with Tableau we found a couple of interesting views and the TF said that if we could toggle back and forth in our main visualization it would be a neat feature. Instead we gave the user the option of changing the X or Y axis to any metric gathered about the planet. We also gave them the option of displaying the data with a logarithmic scale applied. So instead of having the option of a few fixed views the user can choose from several different combinations.
To use the visualization you mouse over the plots and the information on the planet shows in an information box. To change what is being graphed on the X and Y axis you click on the label and the graph will change accordingly. We chose a black background and brightly colored dots to maximize contrast. Our project involved outer space so a black background was also thematically important.
There were several things that I think we would have liked to have implemented but just ran out of time. If we had a few more days we would have liked to have added an animation effect of the plots moving as the user switched encoding on the X and Y axis. We would have liked to have color be an encoding that the user could choose, rather than it be fixed to temperature. We would have also like to have the option for the user to change the dot size for another encoding.