Producers and consumers of data want to have data presented in tables and graphs – "views" on the data. They want this for a range of reasons, from simple eyeballing to drawing out key insights.
To achieve this we need to provide:
- A tool-chain to create these views from the data.
- A descriptive language for specifying views such as tables, graphs, map.
These requirements are addressed through the introduction of Data Package "Views" and associated tooling.
This section describes the details of how we support Data Package Views in the DataHub.
It consists of two parts, the first describes the general tool chain we have. The second part describes how we use that to generate graphs in the showcase page.
- Data Package Views introduction and spec
- datapackage-render-js - this is the library that implements conversion from the data package views spec to vega/plotly and then svg or png
Figure 1: From Data Package View Spec to Rendered output
IMPORTANT: an important "convention" we adopt for the "compiling-in" of data is that resource data should be inlined into an
_values attribute. If the data is tabular this attribute should be an array of arrays (not objects).
Figure 2: Conversion paths
- Implemented paths are shown in lightblue - code for this is in datapackage-render-js
- Left-most column (Recline): pre-specs that we can convert to our standard specs
- Second-from-left column: DP View spec types.
- Second-from-right column: the graphing libraries we can use (which all output to SVG)
Note: support for customizing map is limited to JS atm - there is no real map "spec" in JSON yet beyond the trivial version.
Note: vega has some geo support but geo here means full geojson style mapping.
Figure 3: From Data Package View to Rendered output flow (richer version of diagram 1)
Implementing code can be found in:
Notice that DataHub views render a table view per tabular resource. If GeoJSON resource is given, it renders a map. Graph views should be specified in
views property of a Data Package.
There is a separate page with additional research material regarding views specification and tooling.