The Research Process

To answer interesting questions, you need data.

You begin with an observation that you want to understand including anecdotal observations.  For example, a certain website layout attracts more visitors to our web page than a different website layout.  From your observations, you generate explanations or theories of those observations, from which you can make predictions or hypothesis.  To test your hypothesis or predictions, you need data.

So you collect relevant data (and to do that you need to identify things that can be measured) and then you analyze those data.  The analysis of your data may support your theory or give you cause to modify the theory.

As such, the processes of data collection and analysis and generating theories are intrinsically linked: theories lead to data collection / analysis and data collection / analysis informs theories.  The research process is summarized below:

(adapted from Discovering Statistics using R by Andy Field et al)

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Satellite imagery and remote sensing puzzles

If you are looking for a fun way to experience satellite imagery and learn more about remote sensing, check out Earth Image Puzzles here.

Here is a solved jigsaw puzzle of SouthEastern PA:


The world of languages

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Producing a map with 5 lines of code

Over the past year, I have been exploring the geospatial capabilities of various R packages.  Today, I want to share the most basic of geospatial capabilities, which is producing a map.  Using R, you can do this in just 5 lines of code.

Let's produce a map of Boston, Massachusetts.  Boston has a longitude of -71.0588801 and a latitude of 42.3600825.  Since we list x and y coordinates in order (i.e. we list y after x), we list longitude (the horizontal coordinate) before latitude (the vertical coordinate).  Let's create our map!

Code line 1:


This command installs the ggmap package in your R environment.

Code line 2:


This command loads the ggmap package in your R environment.

Code line 3:

boston <- c(lon = -71.0588801, lat = 42.3600825)

This line creates a variable called "boston" and assigns the lon and lat coordinates in it.

Code line 4:

boston_map <- get_map(boston, zoom = 13, scale = 1)

This line creates a varia…

IBM SPSS and Entity Analytics at work