Ben Tsai

Sparklines

My friend Erik sent me some biostatistical data that he has been tracking over past few weeks. I decided to see what it would look like as a sparkline. There are a bunch of libraries and web services to generate these things, and I tried to find the simplest one implemented in Python. I found Matthew Perry's module, installed PIL, and I was good to go. (I made a slight change to spark.py to expose the background color of the image as a parameter so the graphic would match my current theme.)

More data to visualize: I've been recording my gas mileage information since November, 2006. We can also note that gas prices have been steadily climbing since then (low: $2.10, high: $4.26). The simplicity and attractiveness of these graphics make them particularly compelling. I can think of a few places where using sparklines would be useful...

Friday, June 6, 2008