Martin, Fred: February 2012 Archives

Weave demonstrated at Data Day

Prof. Georges Grinstein and graduate students Mary Beth Smrtic and Andy Dufilie presented a new software platform, Weave (Web-based analysis and visualization environment), to more than 300 attendants and 500 webcast viewers at the fourth annual Data Day held on January 27, 2012 in Boston. This was the first public presentation of Weave—the culmination of three years of design and development work at UMass Lowell’s Institute for Visualization and Perception Research.

Weave is an interactive web-based software system that links multiple visualizations (maps, charts, graphs, etc.) and computational tools (statistics, data mining, modeling and simulation). It was designed to provide easy access to existing datasets or simple upload of local data, allowing anyone to visualize any available data anywhere.   

Weave was developed with support from the Open Indicators Consortium (OIC) specifically to simplify the process of presenting and visualizing data. The 15 OIC member groups wanted a state-of-the-art high-performance web-based visualization system tailored to the needs of groups that analyze and share indicator data.

In addition, OIC members felt that the high cost of commercial software had created a financial barrier, which limited the ability of individuals and small non-profits to visually analyze and share data.  For this reason, OIC seeded the initial software development activity and all agreed that the new software would be available as open source. The OIC helped identify the diverse feature requirements and its members served as the first beta test sites.

Weave is now available to the public, free and open source—one less barrier to the democratization of data.

In addition to the presentation by Grinstein and students, several OIC members demonstrated their use of Weave, which now powers websites such as the Connecticut Data Collaborative , Rhode Island’s RI DataHUB and the newly re-launched MetroBoston DataCommon.

Data Day 2012, co-sponsored by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Boston Indicators Project at The Boston Foundation, is a one-day conference that examines innovative ways to help organizations and municipalities expand their capacity to use technology and data.

For more, see a February 8, 2012 article in Computer World.

Prof. Georges Grinstein representing the Open Indicators Consortium and discussing Weave at Data Day at Northeastern University. (Photo courtesy Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.)

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