While the API allows you to display single tables, charts, graphs, or maps that target a very specific topic, the API is more commonly used let the user choose between hundreds of topics and views. The API can provide automatic navigation using a series of pulldown menus. These visualizations can also be organized into dashboards depending on the amount of room available on the webpage.
As the website developer, you can request an individual view such as a table, chart, graph, or map. A view would visualize a single topic such as a five-year chart with US Census ACS demographic data on age ranges. All of these views are highly interactive, with options to drill down through hierarchical data, scroll or drill down through larger sets of data, and hover over chart components to see additional data points and footnotes.
Here are some examples of views available in Calypso.
Tables are invaluable for looking at the raw data. Tables can be configured, sorted, transposed, printed, and downloaded.
Charts allow users to quickly visualize and compare data. Charts can be configured, printed, and downloaded.
Column charts can easily show data over time as well.
Different chart styles can help visualize data in different ways.
Graphs are especially useful for visualizing data over time.
Timeline graphs provide customization options over for zooming in on a specific period of time.
Map choropleths allow users to quickly visualize data across multiple geographic regions, with shades of color representing different brackets of values.
Letting the User Decide
As the website developer, you can request a component pack, which is a series of views controlled by selectors and pulldowns at the top. Users can select from a variety of topics, views, geographies, data categories, metrics, time periods, and data sources. The entire component pack can be implemented in a web page with a single, 10-line API call providing the greatest flexibility for the user and the least cost to the developer, as shown in the Quick Start Guide.
There are plenty of options for customizing the data shown, as well as customizing the theme and appearance of the table, chart, graph, or map. There are options for customizing based on:
|Data Topic||Demographics, industries, education, etc.|
|View||Table, chart, graph, map|
|Regional geography||County, CBSA, city, census tract, block group, etc.|
|Time periods||Individual months or years, ranges of months or years|
|Data categories or breakouts||Age ranges, NAICS codes, degrees, income brackets, etc.|
|Metrics||Value, percent, average yearly change, margin of error, etc.|
|Map choropleths||Natural jenks breaks, quantiles, equal intervals|
Tables, charts, graphs, and maps can also be customized to help match the website’s theme and dimensions. The settings that can be configured per chart are:
|Dimensions||Height and width|
|Layout||Orientation of table columns and rows|
|Colors||Chart and map colors|