Real-Time Mapping

Alan Eng shows off some open source tools to visualize data on a map in real time:

Beautiful data visualizations reveal stories that numbers just cannot simply tell. Using visualizations, we can get a sense of scale, speed, direction, and trend of the data. Additionally, we can draw the attention of the audience – the key to any successful presentation – in a way that’s impossible with tabulations. While a tabular view of new online signups is informative for tracking, a dynamic map would provide a more captivating view and reveal dimensions that a table cannot.

Hence, I worked on a map visualization that depicts signups in real time. In this post we will walk through the tools used to construct this map and discuss the technology that allows the frontend to listen and to receive data from the backend. The code should be sufficient for the readers to build their own flavor of the real-time map visualization. Note that I’m not a front-end developer. I did this for the sake of curiosity!

We’ve seen Power BI achieve the same goals (e.g., here and here), but this lets you write some custom code to fit into applications.  On the database side, we tend not to think so much about good internal monitors.  We buy monitoring tools for our databases, but those don’t tell us if our applications are healthy.

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