Best Things This Year (2014)

What I like about 2014 was that it was more about things I built, rather than found and enjoyed.

1. Lineage
How do you browse 250 years of genealogical data? My Aunt Peggy has been doing genealogical research for decades and I created a system to view this data and show family relationships. I demoed Lineage at the February Philly JS Dev Meetup and at the Digital Analytics Association Symposium in October.

Lineage screen shot
Lineage screen shot

2. Public Speaking
I did more public speaking this year, mostly talking about data visualization, AngularJS, and some of my projects, including Lineage and the Bulldog Budget.
Data Visualization and Expression at the Digital Analytics Association Symposium
Data Expression with D3 at the Philly Javascript Meetup
14 Slides on ng-repeat at Angular Philly
How the !@#$ and I Going to Upgrade to Angular 2.0? at Angular Philly

Digital Analytics Association Symposium
Digital Analytics Association Symposium

3. Kids Morning Adventure
I productized the morning routine I invented for getting my kids ready for school. Morning Adventure gamifies the process, motivating kids to be more independent and makes sure we get to school on time. I can’t imagine life without it now.

Kids Morning Adventure
Kids Morning Adventure

4. David Lynch
I got to see David Lynch give a talk at the opening of his art exhibit at PAFA.

David Lynch
David Lynch

4.1 More
I also got to see Biz Stone, a Peregrine Falcon, and this lady who skied to PATCO on a snowy day.

5. Books I read this year
The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
Thank You Eliot Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
Diamond Age by Neal Stephensen
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnemann
Ingenius by Jason Fagone
All the World is Lost by Patrick Hipp
Eloquent Javascript by Marijn Haverbeke
A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin
A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin

6. Movies / TV
This year I watched and enjoyed
True Detective
The Lego Movie
House of Cards
Regular Show
Wolf of Wall Street
Django Unchained

7. Space Bounce Game
A bunch of us at RJMetrics volunteer to spend time mentoring 8th graders from Philadelphia schools. We built Space Bounce with the kids during our fall session. It uses a great javascript library for making HTML5 games called Phaser.

Space Bounce
Space Bounce

8. The Report Builder
I spent 2014 at RJMetrics writing the best chart builder in the universe. I’m super proud of what we accomplished and how much we improved the experience of building charts.

RJMetrics Report Builder
RJMetrics Report Builder

9. Viz War @ Philly Tech Week
My colleague, Austin Lopez, and I participated in Philly Tech Week’s Data Viz War and we won Best Pro Team for our NCAA tournament visualization.

NCAA 2014 Dendrogram
NCAA 2014 Dendrogram

10. Monument Valley
I didn’t play too many new games this year, but I enjoyed Monument Valley with Sasha and Owen. You help guide Ida through a beautiful, Escheresque world. It reminded me a lot of Sword and Sworcery.

Monument Valley
Monument Valley

Read about my previous years
Best Things This Year (2013)
Best Things This Year (2012)
Best Things This Year (2011)

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