SXSW 2016 Interactive Sessions

Data

SXSW 2016 Interactive Sessions

by Zack Gorman

Every March, the Tech world descends upon Austin for the South By Southwest Interactive Conference. This year, SXSW is celebrating their 30th anniversary in a very big way with President Obama and the First Lady making an appearance in a pair of keynotes for the Interactive and Music festivals, respectively. While the ticket lottery has come and gone for Barack’s speech on Friday, there’s still thousands of sessions to pick through at the Interactive Conference. 

In anticipation of attending SXSW last year, I built out a dashboard to try and make some sense of it all, and it helped me have a really fantastic week (and the Lone Star’s didn’t hurt either). While I regrettably won’t be in attendance this year, I still wanted to help others fill up some of the holes in their SXSW schedule as efficiently as possible. Thanks to some changes in Tableau over the last 12 months, putting this dashboard together is easier than ever.

What’s The Same

I used the fabulous import.io again to scrape session information from the SXSW website and into a CSV to build the dashboard around. From there, I used Google Maps URLs to figure out the latitude and longitude of the new venues for the custom geocoding and the Noun Project to find a nice public domain building icon. As far as chart types, these are largely unchanged. So, what’s new besides some updated session information?

Custom Maps: Going from “10 Minutes or Less” to “30 Seconds Tops”

I’ve made some visual changes this year, including changing some colors and fonts around to fit the new logo a little better. The big change, though, was being able to use native Mapbox support to jazz up our map selection. Instead of having to build out your own .TMS file and parse through URLs, all you need now is a Mapbox account. After pasting in my personal key and deciding on the Wheatpaste map, my work was done.

For those of you fortunate to attend this year’s conference, I hope this tool can help you get as much out of your badge as you possibly can. There are lots of really incredible sessions this year, and while it’s impossible to catch them all, hopefully you’ll catch something that piques your interest in something new or reignites your passion. Oh, and be sure to enjoy the breakfast tacos, too.

More About the Author

Zack Gorman

Analytics Consultant
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