The CurlyWhirly data format is a tab delimited text format with a header which specifies the category groups which categories are found in, as well as the axis names for the data set. The category column header should start with the prefix categories: and the header line for the column which contains your data point names should be label.
Optional header lines¶
CurlyWhirly supports a number of optional header lines which extend the functionality and interoperability of CurlyWhirly on a dataset specific basis. These header lines are pefixed by a ``# ``and allow the dataset to define additional URLs relating to data points which can be visited for more information about the data points, or to create groups in database systems of data points, among other things.
This is a URL which should give more information about an individual data point when visited. CurlyWhirly will look for the string
$LINE in the URL and replace it with the data point name, when attempting to visit the URL. Users can make use of this funtionality by right clicking on a data point and selecting
Database search from the
Visit URL menu.
Database group upload¶
CurlyWhirly supports the definition of URLs for uploading a group of points to an information system (such as Germinate) allowing users to make decisions about groupings of points within CurlyWhirly and further explore these groupings in information systems with different kinds of data about the points. When in multi-selection mode you can click thhe DBLink hyperlink, which will call out to the group upload URL of the database system speficied in the input file and allow the user to check the group before making the decision to create the group in the database. At this point you can also pick a name for the group, which is returned to CurlyWhirly and then used to open the full group web page. To make use of this functionality the input file has to define two headers, the group upload URL and the group preview URL. The group upload URL is used to send a data file with a point name on each line, from the group of points to be uploaded. The expectation is that if the upload is successful, the information system returns a group name, which can then be used as part of the group preview URL to allow users to preview the group they are about to create in the information system, before committing to creating that grouping of data points.
Users can optionally specify custom colours for categories in CurlyWhirly as part of the input format. These take the form of key value pairs in header lines where the key is the name of the category group separated from the category by a
. character and the value is a textual representation of the colour to be used for that category in the form of an RGB string e.g.
rgb(0,0,0) for the colour black, and
rgb(255,255,255) for the colour white. You can customise the colours assocatied with a category from within CurlyWhirly by double clicking on the colour swatch for that category in the selection tab and selecting your preferred colour for that category. Any colour customisation can then be exported back out to share with other users as part of the
Export data function. Assuming we have a category group called
size, with the categories
small, you may expect to see the following colour headers:
This would result in points categorised as being large would be coloured red, medium points would be green, and small points would be blue.
User interface colours¶
It is also possible to customise the colour of a number of CurlyWhirly’s user interface components. These are saved out on export much like custom category colours, however users could also specify these in advance by specifing colours to go along with the following colour keys / UI components. All of these colours can be customised from CurlyWhirly’s settings dialog. The colours below represent the default colours for each user interface component.
Background / canvas colour¶
This defines the background colour of the view in CurlyWhirly and defaults to black.
Colour key text¶
Defines the colour of the text in the colour key which can optionally be included in screenshots and movies that are exported from CurlyWhirly. This defaults to black, but users should pick a colour which stands out from the background colour.
Defines the colours of the axes, and of the axis labels. The axes default to being coloured green and their labels default to being white.
The colours of the multi-selection sphere, multi-selected points, lines connecting multi-selected points to the central point, and the mini-axes which can be shown within the multi-selection sphere.
Input files should have a header (following on from any of the optional header lines which start with a
#). The minimum requirement for a CurlyWhirly file header is the it should start with
label and be followed by at least one (but preferably 3 or more) coordinate column.
label PCO1 PCO2 PCO3
The real power of CurlyWhirly comes from the hierarchial filtering of data points, using a multiple categorisation scheme in which each DataPoint can be associated with myriad categories, from a variety of different category groups. In this case the input file needs to specify columns for each of the category groups with which data points can be categorised. Categories must be specified before the
label column, so the same header line above, with categories for
age should look like this:
categories:size categories:age label PCO1 PCO2 PCO3
It is also possible to specify additional URLs to relating to data points as pseudo-categories. These must be specified after the categories columns and before the label column. Once loaded, the URLs are available to visit from the
Visit URL sub-menu of the right-click context menu. All URLs specified this way should present a
$LINE section of the URL which will be replaced by the individual data point name when attempting to visit the URL.
categories:size categories:age categories:cwURL:Genesys label PCO1 PCO2 PCO3
large young https://ics.hutton.ac.uk/germinate-demo/?accessionName=$LINE#passport point1 -0.3552 -0.1541 -0.0363
A full sample of the start of a file may look something like the following:
categories:size categories:age label PCO1 PCO2 PCO3
large young point1 -0.3552 -0.1541 -0.0363
medium old point2 -0.344 -0.0556 -0.1038
small young point3 -0.3411 -0.0542 -0.066