Geocoding Data

A key step in the data visualization process is the conversion of data to the right format. When working with geospatial related information in particular, data needs to be in geoJSON to be accurately superimposed onto a map. In many instances, geospatial data available via Open Data Portals like data.gov is already in a proper format to be mapped. However, there are times when the available data needs to be cleaned and/or transformed into a more appropriate format to be useable.
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Redirect Rulez

Redirect Rulez Browsers rely on URLs to access content on the web. One way to think about URLs is as a giant phone book for the web. When a browser wants access to a specific resource, it looks it up in the “phone book” and makes a request for it by visiting the address specified. However, like physical addresses, virtual addresses are not permanent and are subject to change. When a person moves irl, they often file a change of address at the local post office so that mail gets routed appropriately.
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Predictive Web Performance

Some of the most cutting edge and effective web performance optimizations, like prefetch and preconnect, involve being proactive. We make predictions to determine where a user is likely to go next and load resources ahead of time so page load is as fast as possible. While there is somewhat of a science to making these predictions, thanks to analytics tracking and extensive user testing, they are still largely manual. Making an accurate prediction therefore becomes progressively more difficult as your site scales since there’s no sure way of knowing where a user will go next.
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The Myth of 'It's Just Javascript'

If you’ve spent some time in frontend land, chances are you’ve heard someone say “it’s just javascript” when referencing a framework, library or snazzy new tool. While the phrase has an element of truth in it—a framework like React compiles down to JavaScript for instance—it often betrays the full picture. For one, a frontend framework like React or Ember often involves complex-ish tooling, templating systems, and high level architectural decisions around state management, and routing.
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Components Rule Everything Around Me

Componentization is the central concept driving frontend development today. It enables us to encapsulate core logic of a user interface into smaller chunks thereby making them easier to reason about. While each of these components exist in isolation, they work in concert to build a unified interface. This relative isolation also means that components are reusable and can be easily mixed and matched to create a variety of patterns and styles.
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2018 in Review

With 2018 drawing to a close, I’d like to take a moment to review some of my personal highlights from the past year. Attended Recurse Center 2018 was by far the first time that I hit the ground running at the start of the year. I successfully matriculated(?) at the Recurse Center in their first ever mini retreat and spent a full week in January learning and building alongside a bunch of incredibly smart, talented recursers.
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All Eyes on Wasm

If you’ve been keeping up with the JavaScripts, chances are you’ve heard snatches of excitement about the latest and greatest in web technology, WebAssembly. WebAssembly is a binary executable for the web that promises near-native performance for web applications. This means that graphics heavy applications like Photoshop, and AutoCAD can now be run in the browser without the need for clunky third party plugins like Silverlight, Flash and Java Applets.
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Through the (Magic) Window

In the last few years, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), also known as cross reality or XR, have developed far beyond the niche realms of the gaming industry. There are now compelling use cases for using XR for building applications focused on education (Aurasma, Math Alive), home improvement (Wayfair, Ikea Place) and even beauty (Meitu) that are accessible to the masses. Despite its growth in popularity, many XR applications today often require the installation of a separate mobile application.
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Finding the Right Voice Ui

One of the most memorable cinematic portrayals of a voice recognition system is Hal 9000, the seemingly omniscient computer from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hal captured our collective imaginations and opened our eyes to the possible future of a voice based human-computer interaction. Since the movie’s release in 1966, the landscape of voice recognition systems have changed drastically. According a study done by Adobe Analytics over 32% of US consumers own a smart speaker and that number is expected to increase nearly twofold by the end of the year.
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Allez AI A11y

The task of building for accessibility, while worthwhile, can be a rather daunting one. Strategies to incorporate it into a product frequently involve a fair amount of work, much of which tends to be manual and admittedly, tedious. The web accessibility community has made many strides to improving this by making accessibility more accessible for developers. In addition to the best practices and recommendations by WCAG, there are many automated tools that make implementing them a breeze.
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