This way to the arch

Snapshots / Oct. 16, 2016

Me on a bridge

Snapshots / Oct. 16, 2016

Leica Q

Photo, Snapshots / Oct. 6, 2016

I’m super excited about my new Leica Q! I just unboxed it this evening, and even though I’ve only taken a few shots inside I can already tell we’re going to be good friends. Enjoy some Saffy at f1.7 … because why should anything be in focus!




Maine lighthouses

Photo, Snapshots / Sep. 23, 2016




EXIM Bank interactive

Code, Interactives, Mapping / Nov. 20, 2015

My congressional district maps have gotten a lot of use … this EXIM Bank interactive has two of them! But more interestingly, the maps are topped by scrubbable, linked small multiples similar to ProPublica’s Ambulances for Dialysis Patients on Rise. Unfortunately they break the small multiple rules and don’t have a consistent y-axis, but the guy paying the bills insisted. But still, it was an interesting challenge to solve and at least cools cool.

Check it out here.


CQ alert and newsletter emails

Code, Design / Oct. 1, 2015

These screenshots of the revised CQ email alerts look pretty basic, and it’s completely on purpose. The old emails each had a completely different look, were very complex table-based designs, and were not at all responsive (mostly because when they were made the flip phone was just becoming popular.)

The goal with the new design was to have a great mobile reading experience as well as a consistent brand look. But it was also important that there be enough visual difference that you could easily tell them apart at first glance. The designs are kept minimal for both super-fast loading times and readable content even if images or styles were blocked by the server or email client. You’ll also notice there’s a lot of content in each email — yet another reason to keep the design lean.


Adding the current Git branch to your terminal prompt

Tips and tricks / Jan. 29, 2015

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 1.52.15 PM

Martin Fitzpatrick has a great tip that helps me keep my sanity when working with Git branches. Googling will give you lots of ways of accomplishing this, but this one is simple, straight-forward, and works well for me. I won’t repeat his post, but basically you add a short bit of code to the .bash_profile file that lives in your home folder. Note that if this is your first time altering Bash, .bash_profile may not exist, so you’ll have to create it using Sublime Text or whatever text editor you like.

I like having color in Terminal, but I find a colored prompt distracts from the other colored content, which is usually for colored for more important or informational reasons. This post on OSXDaily has a good rundown of adding color to Terminal.

Here’s my .bash_profile which puts the Git branch in light gray.

# Enable colors
export CLICOLOR=1
export LSCOLORS=ExFxBxDxCxegedabagacad

# Get current Git branch
parse_git_branch() {
  git branch 2> /dev/null | sed -e '/^[^*]/d' -e 's/* \(.*\)/ (\1)/'

# Prompt appearance
export PS1="\h:\W\[\033[37m\]\$(parse_git_branch)\[\033[00m\]$ "

Oxfam International extractive industries programs page

Interactives / Jan. 20, 2015

Oxfam wanted a way to both illustrate the scope of their international extractive industry programs and tell each individual county’s story. To that end, this single-page javascript application first gives the user a world map with the 36 program countries shaded as well as a list view with a short synopsis of that country’s efforts. Clicking either the map or the list item takes you to the county detail page with a narrative, photo and sidebar bullet-point details.

The final published project looks fairly simple, which I take as evidence of success. Major kudos to Oxfam’s Chris Hufstader and Scott Sellwood for narrowing the focus and editing down the content to just the essentials.

Map shapes came from ever-amazing Natural Earth rendered in the Robinson projection using D3 and TopoJSON. To reduce the size and complexity of the map, the custom TopoJSON includes one object with all the land shapes, and another with just the shapes of the 36 supported countries.

This project was also my first time using Aight to provide IE8 support. I didn’t both trying to come up with a map alternative for IE8 users, but the list view and the country detail pages work well.

Check the project out here.