To be honest, this 2 week project has broken my exhaustive flow. Once I got down to sleeping, I slept like crazy and managed to finish the quota of sleep I lost in the past month. By the time, I got down to thinking about the assignment it was thursday.
So, the assignment for week 5 and 6 is bound to be our final project and when I read “This time, I am giving you the freedom to do whatever you want.” on the brief by Alberto Cairo, I thought to myself oh no!. The things is that when I am given choices I cannot get my head to focus on one topic. One thing was clear though I wanted to do a visualisation specific to India. Some of the broad areas of interest were as follow:
- Carbon or GHG emissions in Indian states over the years
- Sanitation provisions and concerns across Indian states
- Water borne diseases in states (hoping to get a story about the cause and conclusion)
Here is the thing. The week finished and I came to a conclusion that our country needs to document our data better. Its a pity that we dnt have a place form where we can take the data and play with it. There are so many reports and so little cohesive raw data 😦 I am saying this in the utmost agitated and frustrated tone possible. I am not suggesting that there is no data out there, but most of the times you have to write to departments or people concerned to get the raw form of data (xls files). I know this from my prior experience with my thesis project. Having said that I will take the opportunity on this post to tell you the places I dug out where you could possibly find some data about India:
- http://www.data.gov.in (New attempt from the government to store data)
The issue with the forums above is that there is no continuos documentation for a particular topic over the span of few years. Most of the topics are a documented over scattered years and it is difficult to gather any story without the criteria of continuous time. Secondly very few topics are distributed state-wise. If I want to study about a topic and its impact on India, I need some level of depth to get any story out of the data. general figures don’t say much. There is one source though that seemed promising
This looked like it had some potential with xls files, but the catch is that I need a membership, will find some time to figure out the deal behind its membership (aaaargh why can’t things be free, it’s the age of open source for god sake).
Anyway, having lost a week and no time to wait for data I decided to go ahead and just finish the assignment with any data I find and then I thought of Facebook. I thought it would be nice to see the growth of facebook and other demographics related to ‘fb’ in Indian states. Might be interesting to have a parallel angle of the number of people educated in these states during that time or the number of people who have access to computers. While I found general country facebook demographics, I couldn’t find any data I could use to tell a story. For general demographics on social media, I found this to be a good source:
The thing is that I wasnt satisfied visualising general facebook demographics. The voice in my head kept on saying ‘Now what, so what’ and my motivation was really low to even start the assignment. This is when I thought today, ok one last time lets give this data hunting a shot. Maybe I won’t get the topics I want, but maybe I can use the most cliche and boring data for India and visualise it with a twist. So, there are some sources that I think might work for my final project and I will share that with you in the next post. My 2 week project is going to reduce to a 3 day project 😦 Must stop blogging and run.
In case any of you have a portal or place in mind where we can dig out xls files of data, please do comment on this post and let me know. I will be grateful 🙂