Final Project Topic Ideas

When is the next rocket launch?

Rocket launch data is available in a number of different databases, but it is difficult to search for and filter through. However, it’s important to know what is launching when and where to schedule other flights. Help create a visual explainer that displays useful information about current and past rocket launches (i.e. trajectory, launch time, weather, etc.) It may be helpful to use techniques from the class (filtering, brushing & linking, etc.). Here is the NASA challenge you could also enter with this project.

Explore the Stanford Daily archives

The Stanford Daily Archives contains 18,931 issues comprising 143,685 pages and over a million articles. The archives document campus life and history are documented in these archives from 1892 to 2014, but it’s difficult to find trends or insights with the current system. Create an analysis tool for the Stanford Daily Archives. This could include allowing viewers to find trending words, topics, movements in the archives, or possibly campus views on different political movements or actions.

Visualizing TED Talk Popularity

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to the ideas worth spreading. The TED talks cover a broad range of topics, from Technology, Education, Design to global issues. With the rich data types available in the dataset, which includes comments, dates, tags, views, and even transcripts, there is a lot of analysis you can delve deep in. For example, you can design an interactive interface for people to explore topics they may be interested in or uncover insights about what topics people are most interested in, what topics are overlooked, and how the pattern has shifted over time. Since there is a great range of textual input, it provides opportunities in exploring text mining and effective text visualization.

Data source:

Newspaper Navigator

The Newspaper Navigator is a Library of Congress dataset that extracts the visual content of historic newspaper pages. They apply crowdsourcing and machine learning techniques to identify photographs, illustrations, maps, comics, cartoons, headlines and advertisements. Design an interactive explainer to let people explore different aspects of this data set.

Data source:

Why is my flight delayed? Investigating Flight Delays & Cancellations

Flight delays are estimated to have cost air travelers billions of dollars. FAA/Nextor estimated the annual costs of delays (direct cost to airlines and passengers, lost demand, and indirect costs) in 2017 to be $26.6 billion. With external dataset, you can try to uncover the correlation between flight delays and factors like weather. Using the geological information, you can also identify and visualize the geological pattern of the flight delays. Investigate the common causes or potential pattern of the delays and present the insights you find with visualization.

Data source:

Other data sources

As noted in Assignment 2, there are a variety of data sources available online. Here are some possible sources to consider for a data analysis/explainer project.