How to map a billion: Visualizing big data @ Locate

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Mar 30, 2018

How to map a billion: Visualizing big data @ Locate


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Mar 30, 2018

Understanding data from mobile users allows companies to view trends and make data-driven decisions. In the race to parse and understand these datasets, data scientists and executives are turning to maps to convey insights and make decisions. As business intelligence platforms make it easier to pull large amounts of location data into their platforms, publications like the New York Times are using dynamic maps and data-driven styling to tell engrossing stories to more readers. Businesses, too, can use no-code tools to build no-code dashboards to help them understand their needs and allocate resources.

Big location data is changing how we understand the world around us; that’s why it’ll be a major theme at our first user conference, Locate. For two days, May 30–31st, we’re bringing together product developers, designers, data scientists, and business decision-makers to talk about the tools and techniques they’re using to visualize big data sets.

Here’s what you can expect:

Location data visualization, an essential business intelligence tool

We’ve assembled a slate of keynotes and panels from a talented pool of designers, engineers, data scientists, and business leaders. Tableau’s Kent Marten will take the stage to talk about spatial file connector and other geo-viz tools integral to the business analyst’s toolbox. Uber’s Nicolás García Belmonte, will share how his teams built and other data exploration products that help Uber manage core aspects of its complex worldwide ride-sharing network.

The need for speed is real

Behind every effective data visualization is a ton of not-so-great ones. Most get bogged down by poor performance that doesn’t respond quickly to the user. As you explore and parse huge location datasets, you need fast-rendering maps and visualizations to quickly understand your business data. At Locate, you’ll be able to loop around the Exploration Hall to experiment with complex datasets yourself — chat in-person with top-notch data visualizers about the tools and techniques they use to quickly read the signal from the noise, and visualize insights beautifully.

Experience visualizations similar to this driving time isochrone map (built by DataBlick in Tableau) that renders at 60 fps — the speed of a video game. Learn more about this visualization.

Custom styling: the finishing touch

Having full control over map style and colors helps you build visualizations as unique and dynamic as your dataset. Forgo the wall of explanatory text and use custom styles to help your user explore datasets with billions of vector data combinations quickly and intuitively at every zoom level. You’ll be able to join hands-on code labs with our design team to learn how to style your own choropleths, heat maps, hexbins, and isochrone maps with custom colors and icons.

We used Mapbox GL clustering and data-driven styling to create the fast-rendering heat map. Learn more about this visualization.

We’ll be adding more data viz-focused speakers and sessions to the schedule in the coming weeks — keep an eye on the Locate site as we announce new ones.

Businesses are capturing more location data than ever. We want to see what you build with it. See you at Locate.

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