Bling and Dorling Cartograms/Visualisation

Nov 9, 2009 at 7:57 AM

Hi Bling Team,

Fantastic work on Bling, very impressive.

Do you think Bling could be used to create Dorling Cartograms?

I can imagine that a visualisation with Bling physics and interaction would be fantastic.

Similar to :

But with bling goodness.

Have you also considered how Bling can be used for Data Visualisation?  As a WPF alternative to Libraries like Flex, Prefuse?

Many thanks




Nov 10, 2009 at 6:11 AM

These are definitely applications that Bling is meant for. I tend to do these on a case base case basis, and often the designs are proprietary so I can't put them into the publicly available sample code.

For comparison, Flare is based on action script, so their code can run directly in web browsers. There is no version of Bling yet for Silverlight, so it isn't very web friendly. On the other hand, Bling is able to take advantage of GPU acceleration, and has support for DirectX 10, so it has more headway on the flashiness of visualizations you can use it for.  Since Flare is under a BSD license, it would be useful to look at their code and see if I could make any improvements to Bling especially to support visualization needs. 

Nov 10, 2009 at 8:07 AM

Hi Sean,

I think it is the right approach to continue with WPF and take of advantage of GPU acceleration and DirectX 10 and push the boundaries there, I think Bling is incredibly promising in this respect and pushes WPF in the right direction. 

I personally would love to see more data visualisations in Bling, because for me that is where I can see it gaining momentum as a technology due to the high interest in data visualisation and the gap in the market for good WPF visualisations/interactions/experiences .  No one in the WPF world has really come out with a good visualisation library and for me this is where it loses ground to Flash/Flex.  Sometimes I am a little envious of the tools available for Flex guys (Flare being a great example) when you want to build next generation visulisation-based applications and experiences. 

A Flare port to Bling would be amazing.



Dec 14, 2009 at 8:23 PM

+1 for easier Bling data visualizations.

btw Sean, you mentioned that a lot of what you create with Bling can't be published, but are you actively keeping a list of things you (and others) create that CAN be shown? I would love to see more examples to learn from.

Dec 18, 2009 at 4:23 AM

I can't publish design prototypes of course, but I try to take specific tricks I used to build these prototypes and create examples from them. Overall, I need to be more focused in what examples I choose and how I present them. I'm working on a big feature upgrade for Bling now as well as a rebrand (ya, that means a name change, but I also want to redo all the documentation and how I market this API), where I hope to solve these problems.