It is a very common thing to find web pages that contain tables. Sometimes the tables could be hundreds of rows and full of all kinds of information. While these tables are extremely helpful, sometimes one wants to visualize that same information in a different way just to gain better insight into what is not immediately evident in the table.

Keith Schengili-Roberts, on his blog, DITAWriter, keeps many tables on his site updated whenever someone sends him new information. In particular, there are two tables that I keep referring to:

  1. The Companies using DITA table
  2. The DITA Tools table

Based on the first table, I had created some visualizations some time ago.

Where in USA are companies using DITA

A google map showing a snapshot of companies in USA using DITA

DITA usage across USA

A map inside Tableau showing a snapshot of companies in USA using DITA

DITA usage by Country

A visualization of companies using DITA based on Country in which the company headquarters is located.

However, the issue that I had (and the reason I did not publish these earlier) was that every time Keith updated his tables, I would need to look at what changed and update each of the visualizations.

Automatically Updated Visualizations

I had been seeking a less painful way to create and keep the visualizations updated. I recently found a way that I can do just that and it involves google spreadsheets and the Google visualization API. I will provide details of how I did that in a subsequent post but the main thing is that I used ImportHTML and cleaned up the data in the Google spreadsheet.

Of course, I still have to update the code if the the column structure changes in the source HTML tables but that is less likely to happen than rows changing.

I apologize for the cramped up format of the charts within the iframes on this page but please open just the frame in a new tab or window for a better user experience.

 

A collapsible tree visualization of industry, country, HQ location and companies using DITA.

 

A Sankey chart visualization of DITA product, company and category of DITA tools.

 

 

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