Monday 25 April 2011

Easter Eggs

Not the chocolate type, but the hidden game type.  Did you know that Alteryx has two?

If you want to find them then the About screen should be your starting point.

Happy Hunting!

Friday 22 April 2011

A Spatial Challenge - Part 2

So here is my module:

It works by creating 5 internal buffer polygons of decreasing size and then setting decreasing opacity to provide the fade effect.

It has been pointed out since I wrote this that it is also possible to use negative buffers, which would be another way to create the internal polygons.

How I set the colors so that no adjacent counties have the same color is a post for another day...

Tuesday 12 April 2011

A Spatial Challenge

There is a shop on Pearl street in Boulder which sells antique maps. While I was browsing through their stock on Saturday and reminding myself I really don't need to buy an antique map for $100, I spotted a rather neat way of coloring polygons. Which it turns out is a reasonably interesting challenge to reproduce in Alteryx. The below is my reproduction from Alteryx, complete with aerial photographs to bring it a bit more up to date than the antique version I've copied (it shows the counties of Colorado if you were wondering). 

If you feel like giving your Alteryx spatial skills a workout then have a go at creating the effect yourself.  I'll post my module later this week once I have had time to annotate it.

Friday 1 April 2011

Inspiring Fractals

I wanted to start this post by saying how great it was to see everyone at Inspire 2011. I thought it was an amazing conference and really enjoyed seeing what everyone has been doing with Alteryx over the last year.

This module was inspired by a particularly interesting conversation I had with a client at the closing reception, where we were talking about the new location optimizer macro type and then got on to talking about Fractals.  Which in turn was the inspiration for this module.

A forewarning to those of you who thought this years Grand Prix questions didn't have a direct business application, you might not appreciate this one.  For those of you who like to see the edges of what Alteryx can do then I present the Mandelbrot set produced by Alteryx.

It is actually a great example of how the iterative macro works and though lacking a "direct" business application a good learning example of this new feature.  The other point of interest is I have used the map tool with 1,000,000 size 1 points effectively as a "screen" to plot my results on (I'm sure there's a business use for this idea somewhere...).

If you want to read more about the Mandelbrot set.  Wikipedia has a good article, including the algorithm I have reproduced in Atleryx.