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Rectangular Loom Art in Tableau

A few months ago, I shared a process for creating Loom Art in Tableau. I was thrilled with the response it received and even more thrilled to see people use it in creative ways, such as the London TUG leaders using it for a fun quiz. Since then, I’ve had a couple of people ask if the code could be modified to allow loom art images to be created in a rectangular pattern, which would allow for more normal photo cropping than the circular images in the original post. I thought that it couldn’t possibly be too hard to make the modification. It turns out I was wrong, but after pouring over the code and making numerous changes, I was finally able to get it working as desired. Here’s a sample using the famous portrait, Afghan Girl, by Steve McCurry:

The process for creating these are pretty much the same as the circular loom art, but I’ll reiterate them here.

1.  Download and install the Processing IDE:
2.  Download the RectangleStringPicture.pde file from my Github repository:
3.  Open the RectangleStringPicture.pde file in Processing.
4.  Follow the instructions in the comment block at the top of the code.
5.  The program will output a csv file. Connect to it with Tableau.
6.  Move X to the Columns shelf and Y to the Rows shelf.
7.  Move Path to the Detail card.
8.  Change the chart type to Line.
9.  Move Path  Order to the Path card, then change it to a Dimension.
10.  Change the size of the lines to the smallest possible.
11.  Change the color to black (or whatever thread color you prefer).
12.  Change the color transparency to a low value (5-15% seems to work well).
13.  Change the y-axis to Reversed.

The screenshot below shows the final result.

Ken Flerlage, February 3, 2018

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