Sunday, November 04, 2012

Strata NYC 2012 and PyData

A week ago, I gave a talk at Strata NYC on network visualization ("Beyond the Hairball"). The talk had many technical issues (I'm new to using a MBP and Keynote to present), but the slides seem to have had some kind of life on Twitter. So here's the rather large and slightly academic deck:

I was gratified to get so many RT's, email, and favorites from people including Gilad Lotan, Steven Strogatz, and Ben Shneiderman.

Strata itself baffled me a little due to size and "big data" hype factor -- I got a little tired of overhearing businessmen on their phones talking about "monetizing social." (Why did "social" have to become a despicable noun?) My favorite moments were certainly social more than technical: getting to meet Noah Iliinsky and Kim Rees, seeing Danyel Fisher from MSR and his game analyst partner Kim Stedman, Wes McKinney (with his new book, Python for Data Analysis), and Jon Peltier and Naomi Robbins. These folks made for a very nice data vis and python slice of the big data conference.

Then There Was PyData!

I love it when a technical conference isn't afraid to show code, and make code available. That was PyData! Here were some highlights for me (with two tracks, I missed half of it!):

I was sad not to see any updates on or bokeh, the ggplot2-style library for Python that Continuum Analytics and Peter Wang are working on; Peter did tell me that he's going back to it now that he's got a grant to work on it, and it will be using canvas, rather than D3.js/SVG to draw to the browser. (This was a performance and complexity decision. I fear it will reduce a lot of interactive vis design opportunities for folks like me, but I'll suspend judgment till I play with it.)

All in all, Pydata was a good couple of days, well worth the trip! They could stand to get a few women to speak at the next event, though. (No, I'm not volunteering!)

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