IronViz – Garfield eats the pie chart

I love Garfield! And it was an easy pick for me to build a viz about Garfield for the first round of IronViz* feeders.

My first goal with the viz was to be able to see every single Garfield strip/comic directly from the Viz. My first step was to find a dataset that had this information somehow. And after some searches I found out that… it does not exist. Time to give up? No, time to be creative!

My investigation started by visiting the official Garfield website. Under the Comics session I found that all his cartoons are available as images. The best finding was that there is a very simple link syntax I could follow to be able to pull into the viz the image of every cartoon:

https://d1ejxu6vysztl5.cloudfront.net/comics/garfield/2018/2018-04-29.gif

Next I just needed to get all the dates that a comic was published and I was done with it. As Garfield is being published uninterrupted since June 19 1979, I went to Google Sheets and created a simple dataset with one column that contained all dates between 1979-06-19 and 2018-05-01.

After loading the Google Sheet to Tableau I had to do some simple calculations to get all components of the link syntax I needed to reproduce:

[Year]
DATEPART(‘year’,[Date])

[Month]
DATEPART(‘month’,[Date])

[Day]
DATEPART(‘day’,[Date])

I also created a Decade field because I wanted to be able to slice the cartoons that way otherwise they won’t fit on my design:

[Decade]
MAKEDATE(INT((YEAR([Date])/10))*10,1,1)

Then it came my second goal on the viz: draw a high-resolution Garfield on Tableau using for it… data! After another set of Google searches I found the blogpost from  where he describes a method to use pointillism to draw images on Tableau. And it was really simple! Here is my data driven Garfield!

garfield-data-driven

Design

The overall design of the viz was inspired by the old Garfield books that I spent hours reading when I was a little boy in Brazil. Those rectangular books were so nice to touch and to read that made me a big fan of everything Garfield related.

I was so in love of Garfield that I also became a Lasagna lover. It is my favorite food, specially when made by my mom! I also had Garfield socks and used them only for special occasions. Finally, in late 80’s there was a big Garfield event in one of the biggest malls in Brazil. And of course I was there with mom to cheer up for that big orange sarcastic cat.

I hope you enjoy my viz and I hope more that you enjoy Garfield! Click the image to access it on Tableau Public:

Garfield

*IronViz is a data visualization competition promoted by @tableau on its yearly conference.

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