CartoDB has enabled hundreds of thousands of users to visualize their data as beautiful maps to gain insights and share stories. However, these maps contain information that often can’t be uncovered by visualization alone. By applying geospatial statistical methods and machine learning, new stories and understanding can be extracted and predictions can be made.
Applying these methods to geospatial data is powerful but also highly technical and comes with a series of caveats and complexities that are not necessarily understood by our target users. So how do you enable diverse users to access advanced methods? CartoDB’s solution has been to tightly pair analysis, data, and cartography inside an easy-to-use user interface.
Stuart Lynn and Andy Eschbacher offer an overview of CartoDB’s platform, which combines an intuitive visual language to build analysis chains, novel, beautiful cartography that is tailored to communicate the results of these analyses, and an exploration interface that allows insights to be discovered in data through a simple iterative approach. Any one of these components alone is not sufficient; the interplay between them is essential to helping users understand more from geospatial data.
Stuart Lynn is a map scientist with CartoDB, a company that specializes in beautiful online geospatial visualizations and location intelligence. Stuart initially studied mathematical physics at Edinburgh University before deciding astronomy was prettier and easier to explain in bars and earned a PhD in astrophysics. He perviously worked at the Adler Planetarium as the technical lead of the Zooniverse, the largest collection of online citizen science projects. Stuart is passionate about getting everyone involved in doing real science, collecting, analyzing, and mapping data, and making real discoveries about themselves and the world.
Andy Eschbache is a map scientist at CartoDB, where he focuses his efforts on experimenting with CartoDB’s stack and trying to push it in new directions. Andy also runs CartoDB’s Map Academy, an open source education project aiming to teach the skills required to be a successful web mapper through lessons on data visualization, external API integrations, PostGIS/SQL in the cloud, and much more.
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