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Social media data visualisation for Occupy Data Hackathon March 2012
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data-hack-day README

Carl van Tonder <>


data-hack-day is a Django application[1] to visualise social media data, started during the OccupyData Hackfest NYC, March 23-24 2012. It currently handles YouTube videos (using the python-gdata YouTube API), and online news articles (RSS, CSV or manual entry), and draws a timeline using d3.js.


Install on GNU/Linux using:

git clone data-hack-day
cd data-hack-day
pip install -r reqirements.txt
cp youtubeparty/{.example,}
python syncdb
python migrate
python runserver


  • Automatically import some metadata from YouTube videos and their comments by pasting in the video ID, thanks to the python-gdata YouTube API.
  • Create "Media objects" corresponding to online news stories, either by manual entry, CSV upload or RSS parsing (e.g. for use with Google Alerts)
  • Manage (edit and delete) "Media objects".
  • Bugs and incompleteness (see below)


  • Find a better name for the project (the main instance is likely to be called "Media Lineage"; see our unfortunately-not-buzzwordy-enough-and-thus-unsuccessful-funding-proposal).
  • Navigation controls on visualisation.
  • Use beeswarm plots for responses.
  • Work out some kind of bundling / packing layout for the overall visualisation.
  • Bulk add interface for YouTube, Twitter, etc.
  • Use API more cleverly; deal with paginated responses and large result sets.
  • Implement proper user profile and registration system.
  • Date picker widget (tried; failed due to Django bug).
  • CSV upload error handling and documentation (or just drop this for the alpha version)
  • Non-stupid tree implementation using django-mptt.
  • More tests.
  • Clean up code, complete transition to class-based views, implement django-guardian carefully in all relevant views.
  • etc. etc.
  • Fix known bugs (see below).


Oh yes there are.

  • No security system to speak of. (Don't deploy this on the open internet. I didn't...)
  • Rendering strangeness. I still haven't completely got the hang of Twitter's bootstrap framework, so some things look slightly off.





All patches, ideas gratefully accepted. Fork me (above), Github issues (also above) or e-mail (above; slightly lower down), please.

[1]It's not reusable yet, sorry...
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