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Outputs - Data visualization, tables, etc
#1
So here's the question: how have you used Form Tools to create rich feedback to a community?

Let's say you want to collect and visualize, in real time, responses to a given set of questions. Once you have your data, what's the process to get it to make visual sense in real time on a web page? Do you run a cron script every minute to grab an updated csv file? Other ways of doing this? (I'm a n00b!! assume little, if you have the patience!! :-)

Google Charts looks promising:
http://code.google.com/apis/chart/

Any other services or scripts (pref open source/ FSW) that you know of that play nicely with Form Tools to generate meaningful renderings of the data you have collected?

Thanks!
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#2
Google Charts API is *brilliant*. I've been following their progress for a while now.

So right now I don't know of any easy way to do this, I'll be honest. I wouldn't do a cron, no: since it'll be client-facing, I'd be more tempted to do something in JS to keep requesting data from the server every few seconds, then redraw the visualization. All those queries would be server-intensive, so there would need to be a nice fast script running on the server to return the appropriate results.

But this is all rather abstract, sorry. I don't have any recommendations I'm afraid... Sad

- Ben
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#3
(Jun 18th, 2011, 4:40 AM)Ben Wrote: Google Charts API is *brilliant*. I've been following their progress for a while now.

So right now I don't know of any easy way to do this, I'll be honest. I wouldn't do a cron, no: since it'll be client-facing, I'd be more tempted to do something in JS to keep requesting data from the server every few seconds, then redraw the visualization. All those queries would be server-intensive, so there would need to be a nice fast script running on the server to return the appropriate results.

But this is all rather abstract, sorry. I don't have any recommendations I'm afraid... Sad

- Ben

Interesting, this surprises me somewhat. Since FormTools is so useful for capturing data, I would have guessed that figuring out how to display it in real time would have been fodder for a thread if not a module.

Note to coders: if anyone is interested in discussing a module for building more or less easy to use functionality into FT to play nicely with Google Charts, hell I'd consider launching a kick starter project to pay for the coding! I think it would strongly benefit the variety of uses one could put FT to; I wish I was a better coder to even wrap my head around what is involved. I'll mark this as a wishlist, and if anyone else is interested in moving this forward, please drop in on this thread.

Usage Scenarios:
I see this as a strong step towards assessing preferences of a community in a multiple option survey, iterative/conditional survey. Ranked preferences, etc - you could build a sophisticated group polling tool, creating sophisticated user profiles, allowing for group formation depending upon responses. I see this as interesting in the social gaming, education, and activism scenarios.



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