Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Most Dangerous States

To do our project, we gathered data for 8 different categories. Those categories were; Heart Disease, Murder, Lung Cancer, Traffic Accidents, Influenza/Pneumonia (all per 100,000 people) and number of earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes per state. For each category we made a separate graphs by taking the data and inserting them into Google Spreadsheets. Once we had all of our individual graphs, we put them on the website Piktograph.com. This site helped us design a page to let us display each graph in its own unique way. Once we had all the individual graphs done we then made our one big Mega Graph. In this graph, we inserted all of our data onto another Google Spreadsheet. We made a z-score for each individual category and then made a ranking formula by adding all of the z-scores together. We used this ranking formula to find out the least and most dangerous states to live in. We then took that spreadsheet data, and just like before, made into a graph so we could easily see which ones were better or worse. (The darker the color, the more dangerous the state.) We also listed the states in order from the most dangerous to the least dangerous so you could easily see which ones were more dangerous than others.

I learned a lot from doing this project. For one thing, when we started this, we had no idea what were going to do to show our information. Then as we gained more and more data we had the idea of using a colorful map to display our information. We had no idea how we could do this but luckily Mr.Pethan worked his magic and messed around with Google Spreadsheets and found a way to do it. This was my first time ever using Google Spreadsheets and it was actually pretty easy to use with the help of Mr.Pethan. Using the Piktochart website was also something new. None of us had ever used it before and we had to figure out how to use it from scratch. I also learned a thing about working together because it was hard to get all of our information together. We all did our own parts and had to find ways to get it all together on one computer, and eventually we all had to get it on the same website which was harder than it seemed.

If I could do this project again or improve it in any way, I think I would find more categories of scenarios that make a state dangerous and get more specific and precise data. I liked how Google Spreadsheets made it easy to make the United States graphs so I would definitely use that again if I had to. Using Piktochart went pretty well but at first it was hard to find out how to use it and it was hard to find different ways to make it more creative. Also when we were searching about ways to possibly display our information, we found a website that allowed you to scan over every state to get more specific information about that particular subject. If we could have found a way to do that or had more tools to make something like that I feel it would have added a lot to our project.

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