Author: Kyran Dale
Reviewer: Ian Elliot
Part I Basic Toolkit
Overall this section of the book deals with far too much information and dives into things it really doesn't have to at this point. It is difficult to know exactly what the book is trying to achieve.
Part II Getting Your Data
You might think that if you are interested in data visualization you might well already have the data that is motivating you. What this section tries to explain is how you can get data from the web using the requests library or using Scrapy to scrap data from web pages. It also deals with getting Twitter data and data from Google spreadsheets.
Part III Cleaning and Exploring Data with Pandas
As its title makes clear, the section focuses on the Pandas library The first two chapters describe using NumPy and the basics of Pandas mainly how to get data into it. The third chapter is about cleaning the data using manipulation to logically check formats and missing values. The final two chapters of the section use Mathplotlib and Panda to explore the data. This is essentially a traditional descriptive statistics approach to finding outliers and generally investigating distributions.
Part IV Delivering the Data
This section is a short tutorial on using Python to implement web pages using the Flask library. It works its way though static web pages and on to dynamic pages. The next chapter goes into more detail about organizing a dynamic web site using MongoDB and SQL.
Part V Visualizing Your Data with D3
This is a big book and parts of it are fairly easy to read. There are lots of examples and many illustrate extremely specific points. It is difficult to get a bird's eye view of what is going on. There is also a tendency to branch off and explain everything even if it is tangential to the main plot. The explanations are also often inadequate because the topic would need a chapter to itself not just a few paragraphs. For example, its boxout on regular expressions doesn't really help. A short note on what a regular expression is and roughly how it works would be better with a pointer to a fuller reference for readers wanting to find out more.
This is also a very specific book in the sense that it isn't going to be of much interest to a statistician looking to explore and present some survey data. This is much more aimed at someone who wants to collect data from the web and create online presentations. If you fit into this category, and are happy with a range of server and client technologies, then you might enjoy this book.
D3.js in Action
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