Recently, I downloaded the OmniGraphSketcher public beta to give it a quick and dirty trial. As you may have noticed, I can be a bit of a graph/visualization nerd. The first screencast1 of OmniGraphSketcher made it look super easy to use and the output was (visually) very appealing.
In my first trial run, I decided that I wanted to re-create the graphs from my 2009 Q1 goals results. I had some fun screwing around, drawing lines onto the graph stage, moving the axes around… generally following the lead of the gentleman in the screencast. I played some trial-and-error games with the tools (which weren’t always intuitive to me) and then some more games with the controls in the palettes (which were2). I let myself go a little crazy.
Then I reeled myself back in. Accuracy! I want these data represented with some high fidelity. I don’t want approximations of how many times I went climbing from January to March — I want to know exactly. Drawing my columns gave me a lot of scientific precision as OmniGraphSketcher guessed what I meant from those drawings. Then I tapped into the palettes to round off those floats to the integers that they rightfully are. But this was tedious. And for as much as a pain in the ass as Excel can be sometimes, I’d at least gotten the rhythm down.
So I decided to put it back on the shelf for a bit. Verdict: “Some cool output, and a lot of potential but not quite there yet.”
- 22MB HD video link. [↩]
- But the palettes made a bit more sense to me because they follow the same pattern as those from OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner. So (you know) in a way, they’re familiar. [↩]
- 20MB HD video link. [↩]