Visualizing Statistics in Minecraft

Minecraft screengrap showing cows in fron t of colored boxes representing the government expenditure of the united kingdom.

Data about public sector spending is often hard to understand and compare. Statistics about government is often presented in tables. In this hack I have used open data from Eurostat (the EU statistics agency) about government expenditure for a set of countries and rendered sets of boxes in a Minecraft world. This makes it possible to explore the data by walking (flying) around the world. Continue reading

Integrating Yahoo Search in a Django site in 5 easy steps

I have been experimenting with various search options for the eutveckling.se site for a while. Google Custom Search is nice and very fast, but the number of ads appearing in the search result page makes it difficult for users to separate result items from ads. (Update: I am sticking with Google Custom Search until I figure out how to get Yahoo search to present proper excerpts). Continue reading

Improving Django performance with better caching

The Django cache middleware is great, but has one drawback. If you are caching views (which can give a nice performance boost) Django will only use the path segment of the URL to create a cache key. If you are an avid reader of RFC 3986 you may remember that a URI consists of multiple components; path and query being of special interest here. The problem is documented in ticket 4992 (Update: it is not in Django). Continue reading