Create Info Graphics with Sophora

Our goal is to create, manage and publish highly customisable info graphics or statistics within Sophora. The actual generation of the graphics is done by Maongo, a high-class Authoring Framework for the creation of web or television media. Maongo is a product of our partner 4=1. Hence the graphics are generated, they are treated like normal Sophora image documents. Thus they integrate seamlessly into the work flow of Sophora. For example the graphics can easily be used as a teaser or as a paragraph image of a story.

During the whole work flow the user is supported by the good usability of Sophora. The data is entered in a dynamic table and layout information are maintained and grouped in a separate tab.

So let's have a closer look on the work flow and create a info graphic for the last township elections in Hamburg.

First of all we create a new document of the type Info Graphic and choose the desired template. A template is an allowance of the general structure of the resulting info graphic. They are as well maintained in Sophora. Afterwards we select one of the available chart types, bar chart, vertical bar chart or pie chart. As common for those types of election results we choose the bar chart.

Sophora Infographics with Maongo

Now we add additional information for the chart, especially the title, an info text and the copyright.

Subsequent we assign a background and a decoration image to the chart. These images are as well Sophora image documents. They can be assigned by using Drag and Drop.

The results of the election is entered in the dynamic table. As common for election results, we provide the change over the last results, in the column Value Change. We also select a colour for each entry.

By saving the document the chart is generated and can now be handled as a normal Sophora image document.

Sophora Infographics with Maongo

You want a pie chart? No problem, just change the value in the combo box and save the document again.

Sophora Infographics with Maongo

Advanced layout parameters like number formats or scaling are adjustable on the editor tab 'Maongo'.

Easy to Install

This Add-On is realised as an OSGi server plug-in. So it can be installed on any Sophora server in a later version then 1.30. When the Add-On is started for the first time, all needed document types are created automatically. So you can start within seconds.

 Advantages

  • Fast generation and publishing of info graphics.
  • So simple that authors can easily create info graphics by themselves.
  • Powerful enough to create customised and beautiful layouts.
  • Handle your info graphics like normal Sophora documents.
  • No need to adopt the templates of your website.

Future Features

Currently only one image is generated by Maongo which serves as the original image variant. The other image variants (with different resolutions, clippings, compression rates, sharpen values) are calculated based on this original image. Thus we don't take advantage of Maongos advanced capability of dynamically calculation the size of image parts. For example Maongo is able to automatically drop elements of an image, if the desired image size is too small for it.

Samples

Some sample graphics can be viewed in this PDF document (German).

Steffen Kuche

Steffen Kuche

Mon Mar 14 13:14:00 CET 2011 • Mon Mar 14 13:14:00 CET 2011

Java, Sophora