Today’s task was to connect to data from the Cooper Hewitt Museum API and build a dashboard with some of the data, with an option to enhance with data from other sources.
The Cooper Hewitt is dedicated to the preservation, exhibition, and exploration of design in various forms and time periods. The museum is located in New York City and named after its founders, Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt, and was established in 1897.

In recent versions of Tableau it is possible to assign an image URL role to a field. This means that linked images will appear when this field is on a viz. I had tried to incorporate dynamic images from hyperlinks in the past unsuccessfully and thought this was a good opportunity to practice this. In my experience it has only worked on Tableau public, and there is a limit to 200kB image sizes. The API contained links to images of objects in the museum. That is when I had the idea to create a dashboard to browse objects in the museum.


Connecting to the API in Alteryx

The API is well documented and primarily contained information on their objects and exhibitions. This included links to their website and images of the objects in their collection and former exhibits. 

Firstly, I pulled a list of current objects in the museum and their room and floor numbers. I used this data for the current exhibit’s dashboard. 

Secondly, I pulled a list of exhibitions from the API, I then extracted object information for every item in each exhibition. This was done by appending the exhibition_id field to the URL and other API payload information before passing that to the download tool. 

Tableau Dashboard

I wanted the user to be able to interact with the dashboard by clicking filters for each floor or exhibit, which would then show a list of item and images for each object. I did this by creating button-like images (in PowerPoint) to use as action filters for the floors. In a similar way, each exhibit was shown as a circle on the exhibition dashboard and used as an action filter.

The final product looked like this:

See the dashboard here

Many but not all of the image links are working.

To do: Add more text to guide the user. 

The Data School
Author: The Data School