It’s not a book for beginners but I was able to follow along. Knowing that Fhala had all the code available for download was a comforting thought. He goes into a lot of detail but doesn’t repeat too often. At times I thought I would never re-invent the wheel like he had. So it was nice to read the latter chapters on Google’s Visualization toolkit, Google Maps, and InfoVis.
Fhala introduces Canvas with a number of recipes or projects such as creating flags of various counties. He goes from simple to more and more complex. Fhala covers drawing Bezier curves and shadows; hitting the highlights of what Canvas can do for the developer.
I grew up using Flash but lost interest in it. Web designers also have SVG to perform similar tasks. SVG creates vector elements, and now we have Canvas to generate bitmap images. I wish there had been a Reference section in the book, although I’m not sure how I would have formatted it.
Amazon Book Preview of “HTML5 Graphing And Data Visualization Cookbook”
- Drawing Shapes in Canvas: To know the canvas element nothing better than start by creating graphics. In this you will learn how to draw several real flags that include details like rectangles, triangles, crosses, stars, etc.
- Advanced Drawing in Canvas: At first you will continue creating flags but this time with a greater difficulty: you will use arcs, curves and will integrate existent images in a canvas. Also you’ll begin to work with text and you’ll see how to manipulate your graphics pixels to create interesting effects.
- Creating Cartesian-based Graphs: Here the fun begins. Draw flags is fine but, what if you create something more useful? Here you’ll begin to create charts to visualize data. You’ll see bar, scatter, line charts and some more.
- Let’s Curve Things Up: You’ll continue creating charts but this time leaving the straight lines: you’ll see bubble, pie, radar and tree charts. I’ve loved chapters 3 and 4, are the backbone of this book.
- Getting Out of the Box: You’ll create new charts like the pyramid chart, but also you’ll add interactivity to some chart created earlier. For example, you’ll see how to create a bar chart that shows how many times you pressed the mouse button in a second.
- Bringing Static Things to Life: It’s important know how to create charts, but also structure well your scripts to use different data source and create animations. This is what you’ll learn in this chapter, one of the most important.
- Depending on the Open Source Sphere: The open source community dedicated to data Visualization is very rich, and here you’ll see how to use some of existing libraries like jqPlot, flotJS, RaphaelJS, etc.
- Playing with Google Charts: I think the title is quite descriptive. In this you’ll use the Google visualization API and Google Spreadsheet to display and customize various charts.
- Using Google Maps: A on Google Maps couldn’t be missing on a book on data visualization. You’ll learn how to create a map and display data in various ways. Furthermore you’ll add markers and events to the map.
- Maps in Action: You’ll check the enormous possibilities when using maps to visualize data, since you’ll create a map that, when clicking on some place, will show the latest tweets about a particular subject that have been published in this area.