Week #7 Homework: What a JSON

With all due respect to the queen, Sister Nancy…I just couldn’t help myself:


A me seh one thing Mary cyan’ understan
One thing Mary cyan understan
Wha’ mek dem talk ’bout data visualization
Seh, wha’ mek dem talk ’bout data visualization
‘Ca me seh some a dem a ax me whey me get it from
‘Ca some a dem a ax me whey me get it from
A true dem nuh know it’s from public JSONs
A true dem nuh know it’s-a from public JSONs
JSON, ey, what a JSON,
JSON dilla, JSON
JSON dilla, JSON
‘Ey what a JSON, seh what a JSON…


I am extremely excited to start learning about data visualization. Ever since the first presentation in Applications class about the model of the universe using datasets, my imagination has gone wild. It makes sense: I think narratively and performatively and data visualization is the best way I can think of making otherwise obscure or even obfuscated information engaging. Can data be performative? Maybe I can make it so, but I’ve got a long, long way to go.

I am very excited to visualize data from NYC. I’ve been working with grassroots organizations for years from environmental to anti-gentrification activism and I happen to know there is a lot of data out there. I decided to go in the ecological  direction and explore my interest in native species. I pretty much exclusively explored using JSON.

  1. As an exercise, I started creating my own dataset: DIY Native NYC
    1. Here I feel like I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do––both in terms of the data to show and how to make it interactive––but decided to move on because I would have to populate the dataset by hand.
  2. Next I took a step back and used one of the corpora datasets  just to make sure I understood what was going on: Weed1
    1. Question: Why doesn’t it work if I try to print(data)?
  3. Finally, I tried to manipulate a full on dataset from the wild. I actually helped collect data for the NYC Street Tree Census back in 2015: NYC Tree Census 1
  4. I had a really hard time with this though. I feel like I’m not getting something fundamental. I couldn’t figure out how to overlay my data on an image: NYC Tree Census 2

Other datasets I want to play with:


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