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Digital Toolbox

A master list of digital resources and tools that have helped me work.

A master list of resources and tools that have helped me work or that I find useful or neat. Installation files are for Windows versions of open-source software mentioned below, but follow the link to the website for Linux or Mac versions.

Agriculture & Environment

Data visualization

These resources and people show how data becomes useful information, and how to do it beautifully.

  • Alberto Cairo - Alberto Cairo’s blog about information design and visualization. His work sort of reminds me of Edward Tufte in a way
  • Andy Kirk’s Master List - Andy Kirk has a blog but also put together a more substantial list of data ‘viz’ resources than I have provided here
  • cmocean - color palettes for oceanography, or possibly water quality
  • Data Driven Documents (D3) - The D3 Javascript library is widely used for web-based data viz
  • Dataviz Project - a guide of data visualization
  • Data to Viz - a guide of data visualization caveats
  • Datawrapper - create solid and clean data visualizations in minutes
  • Draw My Data - make a scatter plot by clicking
  • Edward Tuft - someone who I think has good philosophies for data visualization
  • FlowingData - data visualization and paid tutorials by Nathan Yau
  • Flourish - I have not used this yet, but it is suppose to turn your data into stunning charts, maps and interactive stories
  • Giorgia Lupi - info designer that has an exceptional talent with hand-drawn visualizations. Who said data viz had to be digital? See also Dear Data
  • Happy Hues - trendy, modern color palettes
  • Jonathan Corum - someone for data visualization inspiration
  • Matplotlib - Python 2D plotting library which produces publication quality figures.
  • Nadieh Bremer - beautiful web-based, interactive visualizations.
  • Our World in Data - research and data to make progress against the world’s largest problems.
  • Paletton - a color scheme design tool that helps people like me choose colors that actually go together.
  • PhotoChrome - impressionistic color palettes.
  • Plotly - interactive plotting platform. Don’t have to learn JavaScript or anything. Use online or through an API.
  • Polygraph - an incubator for visually driven storytelling.
  • RAW - the missing link between spreadsheets and data visualization
  • Tableau - interactive data visualization with public (install) and paid versions. FREE for students
  • Viz Palette - Another visualization palette picker, that like the others includes many colorblind friendly options.
  • Werner’s Colors - gorgeous presentation of colors from a time in which colors were more deeply connected to nature because people were more deeply connected to nature

Data Art subset: Spatial data visualization

Data Science & Statistics

Organization, productivity, research, writing

  • Cal Newport - his Study Hacks blog supports his books and efforts to help people focus on more meaningful deep work.
  • Conversion tools for words, pages, minutes, and so on. Two examples included.
  • Dillinger - online Markdown editor that can link to Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
  • Endnote - powerful, but expensive research management software; syncs to the cloud. Integrates with Word.
  • GitBook - a modern and simple solution to documentation, digital writing and publishing.
  • Google Scholar - search engine for research. Works especially well if linked with university library credentials.
    • Classic Papers - Google scholar’s list of papers that have stood the test of time (since 2006).
  • Hemingway Editor - makes your writing bold and clear.
  • LibreOffice - open source version of Microsoft Office, basically.
  • Maintaining a Lab Notebook - because you probably won’t remember things well.
  • Mendeley - manager + networking + data sharing + job searching
  • Microsoft Academic - academic content from over 120 million publications.
  • Overleaf - collaborative writing and publishing; uses LaTeX and rich text.
  • Papers - use to be ReadCube, reference manager apparently now limited to MacOS scholars.
  • RefWorks - manager that stores references in the cloud; integrates with Dropbox, Google Docs, and Word.
  • Scott Young - blog pieces from the guy who earned a four-year degree in one year.
  • Semantic Scholar - search engine for research. Has some features that Google Scholar lacks.
  • The Most Dangerous Writing App - don’t stop typing, or all progress will be lost.
  • Zotero - a free, easy-to-use tool for collecting, organizing, citing, and sharing research references. My preference over Endnote. (install)

Programming (general)

R Programming

Spatial

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