This page is a quick 20 minute crash course in using Viewshare. Keep this open in one browser window, or if your screen is big enough, keep two window's side by side and follow these step-by-step instructions and you will have a fully functional Viewshare view in less than twenty minutes. Before you can do this you first need to register for an account.
Once you have worked through these steps you will have created your own version of the view of a set of postcards from Fairfax County VA. It will look just like the image below and it will work just like the view we've built and shared.
Step 1: Get the Data
First you need to download this spreadsheet. Save it on your desktop. Once you have it you should be able to open it with Excel or OpenOffice's program Calculator. It will look like the image below.
Once you open up the file you can see that it has item information in rows and each metadata field is a column. Feel free to tinker with this data and to use this as a template for creating your own data sets.
Step 2: Import the Data
Now, head over to the upload data page and chose to upload a spreadsheet from your desktop. You will just need to select the file you downloaded. Once you've uploaded your data set you will be
Once you have uploaded your data you will see that Viewshare has pulled out the column titles and is now displaying your uploaded data. You are going to want to set the image URL field to register as an image from the drop down menu.
It is probably a good idea to save your data set now! Just hit the save button and fill in a title and description. You can keep it private for now, but if you ever want other people to see your data and views you will need to come back and switch to public. Be sure to set the related date field to numeric. Otherwise we won't be able to use it in any of the numeric widgets.
Step 3: Augment the Data
One of the best parts of Viewshare is that it can actually enhance your data through a process we call augmentation. For us to make the timeline, map and to make our widget for themes work better we are going to need to do three quick augmentations.
You start your augmentation by clicking the add button. It is right next to the field name. That will bring up the augmentation box. For starters, click the map and select the City and State field and the Country field from the right column. Once you've done this click the green create button.
Now do the same thing, but this time chose timeline and related date and name it something like augmented date. Lastly, do this one more time for the Category field and select list. Here you are going to want select the pattern "Bread, Flour, Milk, Cheese." This will help us break apart the comma separated values in that field so we can better use them in a facet.
Step 4: Build the View
Once you have uploaded and augmented your data you can start building your view. You can always click on the data tab in the upper right of the Viewshare website to view your saved datasets. From there, you can click the build link on any of your data sets to get started.
From there, the first step is to pick a canvas. For starters pick two columns left.
Once you have picked your canvas you will see the view building screen. This is the only screen between you and your completed view. From here you will add your widgets, pick and configure each of your displays and save your view. For starters it will look like this image below.
To get things started you should add some widgets. Click add a widget in the upper left of the screen. From there you will see the full list of widgets pictured below. They include a search box, a list, a weighted tag cloud, a numeric slider, a numeric range, and little spots to put arbitrary text or logos.
For starters, lets add a numeric slider for the years these were created. Since we only have one kind of numeric data it will just default to the related dates. You will see a preview of what the widget will look like, and we could switch it to another value if we wanted to. So we can just click Ok and we are good to go.
Now go ahead and add a tag cloud that is powered by the categories data and a search box. You can drag and drop them to reorder them but you should end up with something that looks more or less like the image below.
Now we just need to add in and configure all of our displays. Click the add a view button. It is right next to list at the top of the interface. When you click that button you will see the full choices for displays you can include in your view.
Go ahead and add a map, timeline, pie chart, and a gallery. Once you add each of these views you can click through the tabs at the top of the view to switch through and configure each of them. You are going to want to make sure that you make selections for more or less all of the drop down menus. Also, drag and drop the tabs at the top to reorder them. In the image below I have dragged the map tab over to show up first, and I have went ahead and set the color of the pins to be powered by the categories information.
Also notice that you can drag and drop the individual properties at the bottom of each display and uncheck the ones you don't want to show. In this case, i've unchecked the two of the data values that aren't really nice to look at and moved up the image and description to show up first. It is generally a good idea to go back and forth between previewing your view and looking at the back end to make decisions about all of these little configuration issues. Then just hit save, give it a name and a description and you are done. Now you should, more or less, have something that looks like this.
Step 5: Share and or Embed Your View
Once you are happy with the view, assuming you've made it public, you can just give people the link to it. Aside from that, you can click the embed link at the top of the view to get a snippet you can copy and paste into any place you can put HTML. Note that the embedding part can get tricky so ask for help in the troubleshooting forums if you run into trouble here.