October 29, 2019

visualizing data

I’ve recently been engaged in several data-related projects that have taught me a lot along the way. Outside of geeking out over portfolios and books on the subject matter, my knowledge is limited when it comes to the methodology of collecting and visualizing data is pretty limited.

The first project that had me dig into this skill set was creating a customizable framework of data visualizations for our (Microsoft News) Elections 2020 experience. This is still in the works, so no photos to share just yet…However a resource I found early on helped me out considerably when deciding what graphics would work best to convey a data set. The website is called The Data Visualization Catalogue and is essentially a library of different visualization types, which can be sorted by appearance (i.e. bar chart, line graph, etc) or function (i.e. patterns, data over time, comparisons).

The second data-centric project I got to be involved with was an article for The Pudding that was researched, written & coded by Amber Thomas. I was brought in to help with design and visualizations, though the project was highly collaborative and I learned a great deal from Amber in regards to how data is collected and how sensitive it is to being manipulated by the wrong graphic representation.

One such example was an early brainstorm we had about how to represent a North vs. South migration pattern. For context, the article we worked on looked at where adoptable dogs come from or are sent to using data collected from Petfinder. Below is the original graphic we created to show the direction of migration for each adoptable dog:

The problem with this visualization was that we only had available to us the origin & destination points as U.S. states, so a dog traveling from California to Nevada would register as having traveled slightly north as the distance being measured came from the center point of each state. This becomes problematic when you realize a dog could be coming from San Diego and travelling to Reno, a distance that is not only greater, but further north.

In the end we decided the best and most accurate way to represent this data would be to show the total number of exports and imports by state. This way the reader can quickly scan the two data points by location and see the pattern the data is showing, which is more dogs travel from southern states to northern states (with some exceptions).

Overall, lots of interesting learning moments and opportunities to flex my creative muscles by engaging in some interaction design and illustration. To see the whole article click here or the image below.

August 20, 2019

on culture

I’ve recently started playing soccer again. I’ve never been much for sports, but soccer was always the exception, partly because I viewed it as an extension of my Latinx identity. I grew up listening to Andreas Cantor boom out of the television speakers, while snacking on guacamole and rooting for Colombia or Venezuela—two teams that never really stood a chance of making it to the finals.

I would sing the Conavi Tiro de Esquina jingle whenever a corner kick was called, repeatedly murmur lagarto when the opposing team had a free kick on goal, and yell along with Cantor when a goal was made.

What got me thinking about all of this is that each time I’ve played soccer these last few weeks, I get a weird urge to blast Joe Arroyo on the car ride home. So here’s a drawing that sums up my feelings on the subject of soccer.

July 23, 2017

GayCay Desert RoadTrip

 los angeles    >    palm springs    >    joshua tree    >    las vegas |

May 7, 2017

Amer City

Perhaps the highlight of the trip--aside from my friend's wedding-- Amer City was kind of an accident. We had Amber Fort on our agenda, but the city itself is what took the cake. We decided to set out for Amer City after befriending one of our cycling guides, Raju Meena. A resident of Amer, he proposed we give him a lift and in exchange, he'd show us around his neighborhood. 

Upon arriving, we took a small hike up the backside of the fort that led up to an amazing view of Hanuman Sagar Lake, that was populated with monkeys (the nice ones, we were assured) and roaming cows (one of which peed on me). We sat up there for a while feeding the monkeys and chatting with Raju. He shared with us his experience of being the featured tour guide on BBC's Real Marigold Hotel and his ambitions to open a cafe on his rooftop. 

We returned to the main part of the city, passing by the Step Well, which is now off-limits to tourists after one dropped his camera in the water and insisted on jumping in after it. Raju invited us to return to his home for lunch after our visit to the fort, which we did and througholy enjoyed (his mom made an amazing daal 

April 11, 2017

Jaipur 02

Our second day in Jaipur began at 7am with a bicycle tour with the folks of Cyclin' Jaipur. Getting to see the city wake up was a real treat, and we were guided through the various crafts districts within the old city. Our stops included the marble district, open-air produce market, flower market, historical sites (i.e. Hawa Mahal as pictured above), and breakfast in a Rajasthani household--where I discovered Baati and fell in love. We also sampled a traditional Rajasthani dessert that is essentially cold, curdled sweet cream. I can't for the life of me remember the name.

March 31, 2017

Jaipur 01

We arrived in the afternoon and decided to take an aimless walk through the Pink City, while picking up a few essentials (Dant Kanti toothpaste and extra film) along the way. We kept it light as the next day we'd be embarking on a 6am cycling tour of the city.