How is this accomplished? I reach into F#’s bag of tricks to leverage Deedle, Plotly.NET, and ffmpeg in order to transform a series of data files into a singular video showing county-level drought data from 1900-2016. Together these bring static data into a dynamic representation. For reference, the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) typically ranges from -10 (dry) to 10 (wet). Putting this all together is pretty straight-forward, but I wanted to call out a couple specific parts. For this particular example Deedle is overkill, but pairing it with Plotly.NET can often be useful in more complex situations. Plotly offers some nice customization options, which I take advantage of below. Once all the images are generated with Plotly, F# can shell out to ffmpeg to perform the video assembly. I do this in two parts, creating both an mp4 and webm file.
We’re reading datasets, parsing text files, deserializing JSON contents, building a visual for each point in time, and then creating a video out of it—all in 100 lines of code. Not bad.