Javascript Web Development

Legend and polygon colors for Leaflet choropleth using Chroma.js

A Leaflet tutorial uses the following hard-coded getColor function to return colors.

// get color 
function getColor(n) {
    return n > 30 ? '#b10026'
           : n > 25 ? '#e31a1c' 
           : n > 25 ? '#fc4e2a' 
           : n > 20 ? '#fd8d3c'
           : n > 15  ? '#feb24c'
           : n > 10  ? '#fed976'
           : n > 5  ? '#ffeda0'
           : n > 0  ? '#ffffcc'
           : '#ffffff';

However, I wanted to use Chroma.js to generate the legend colors dynamically. So I needed a new getColor function.

Chroma.js has a variety of methods to return colors. The one I choose was using scale and classes. These can then be sent as variables to a getColor function to return colors to use in legend and map.

scale can be single value or an array of two colors (either as hex values or color words). In my case, the first is a light blue and the second is a darker blue. Chroma.js will then return gradients between these two colors. See colorHex variable below.

classes is an array of legend ‘breaks’ for the color gradients. For example they could be the numerical values from the Leaflet tutorial getColor function above (eg 10, 20, 50, etc). See classBreaks variable below.

The new getColor function is shown below:

var classBreaks = [1,50,100,250,500,1000,2000,3000,6000,9000];
var colorHex = ['#deebf7','#08306b'];

function getColor(n,classBreaks,colorHex) {
    var mapScale = chroma.scale(colorHex).classes(classBreaks);
    if (n === 0) {
        var regionColor = '#ffffff';
    } else { 
        var regionColor = mapScale(n).hex();
    return regionColor

This getColor function can then be used as described in the Leaflet tutorial to set choropleth polygon fill colors. It also be used similarly to create the legend by looping through the classes to get a color for each legend entry.

However there is important consideration when creating the legend. Using scale and classes, Chroma.js only returns classes – 1 colors. For example the variable classBreaks array with 10 elements will only return 9 colors. To hack this I push a dummy element (‘999’) to the array so Chroma.js would return 10 colors and then ignore the dummy element when creating the legend.

The legend code is below includes hard-coded zero (0) value set to color white (#ffffff). Looping through the classBreaks each time using getColor function to return legend color based on break value.

var legend = L.control({position: 'topright'});

legend.onAdd = function (map) {
    var div = L.DomUtil.create('div', 'legend');
    div.innerHTML += '<i style="background: #ffffff;"></i>0
    classBreaks.push(999); // add dummy class to extend to get last class color, chroma only returns class.length - 1 colors
    for (var i = 0; i &lt; classBreaks.length; i++) {
        if (i+2 === classBreaks.length) {
            div.innerHTML += '<i style="background: ' + getColor(classBreaks[i], classBreaks, colorHex) + ';"></i> ' +
            classBreaks[i] + '+';
        } else {
            div.innerHTML += '<i style="background: ' + getColor(classBreaks[i], classBreaks, colorHex) + ';"></i> ' +
            classBreaks[i] + '–' + classBreaks[i+1] + '
    return div;

The final map legend looks like this:

D3.js Excel Pivot Chart Excel Pivot Table Javascript Power Query Web Development

Heat maps of Canadian activity changes due to COVID-19 using Google Community Mobility Reports

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Canada I wanted to get better understanding of the geographical distribution of COVID-19 related activity changes across Canada.

Google has helpfully provided freely available global “Community Mobility Reporting” which shows Google location history change compared to baseline by country, and country sub-regions. These provide changes in activity by location categories: Workplace, Retail & Recreation, Transit Stations, Grocery & Pharmacy and Parks locations, and Residential locations. For Canada it is available by province. As of April 19, data contained daily values from Feb 15 to Apr 11.

The Community Mobility Reporting data is available as a single csv file for all countries at Google Community Mobility Report site. In addition, Google provides feature to filter for specific country or country sub regions eg state or provinces, etc and download resulting PDF format.

As the COVID-19 lockdowns occurred across Canada you would expect that people were less likely to be in public spaces and more likely to be at home. The Community Mobility Reporting location history allows us to get some insight into whether or not this happened, and if it did, to what degree and how this changed over time.

I used the Community Mobility Report data to create a D3.js heat map visualization which is described in more detail below and in this Github repository.

I also created an Excel version of this heat map visualization using Pivot Table & Chart plus conditional formatting. This Excel file, described in more detail below, is available in the Github repository.

More detail and screenshots of visualizations is provided below:

Heatmaps are grids where columns represent date and rows province/territory. Each heatmap is a grid representing a single mobility report category. The grid cell colors represent value of percent change which could be positive or negative. Changes can be observed as lockdowns occurred where locations in public areas decreased relative to baseline. Inversely, residential location increased relative to baseline as people sheltered in place at their homes.

1) Heatmap created using Excel / Power Query: For this heatmap visualization the global csv data was transformed using Excel Power Query. The Excel file has two Pivot Table and Chart combos. The Excel files and Power Query M Code are in the repository. Excel files are available in Github repository.

2) Heatmap created using D3.js: For this heatmap visualization the global csv data was transformed using Excel Power Query. The heatmap visualization was created using slightly modified code from ONSvisual.

Bar charts
These were created using Excel to visualize percent change by Province/Territory and location category using Excel / Power Query. These allow comparison between provinces by date and category. This Excel / Power Query file can be used for analytical purposes to slice and dice global data by date, country, sub region 1 & 2 and category. Excel files are available in Github repository.

D3.js Geocoding Javascript Python

Choropleth map of Canada COVID-19 cases by health region using Leaflet and D3

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Canada I wanted to get better understanding of the geographical distribution of COVID-19 cases across Canada. So I set about to make a choropleth map visualization of confirmed COVID-19 case counts in Canada. I also created a separate choropleth map for Montreal which is Canada’s COVID-19 “hotspot” with about 25-30% of Canada’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases.

View live Canada map here:

View live Montreal map here:

The only similar geographical boundaries that have confirmed case counts for all of Canada that I could find for was by: 1) province/territory and 2) health region.

I choose to use health regions in these choropleth maps because there are lots of maps by province / territory. The health regions are geographical boundaries described by provincial health authorities. They likely roughly correspond to population size.

I used Leaflet.js open-source JavaScript library to create the interactive choropleth maps, using D3.js to retrieve and transform csv format data, and Javascript to retrieve JSON geographic boundary files.

The confirmed COVID-19 case counts are available in csv file format from the COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group. The csv files are maintained on Github which is updated daily collating data from provinces and territories.

The health region geographical boundary descriptions were obtained primarily from Statscan ArcGIS Health region boundary Canada dataset. However, I needed to make some modifications to update boundaries used by health regions which is described in more detail in Github repository README.

The biggest challenge to create these choropleth maps were data issues were relating geographical boundary names to the confirmed case health region name. Basically needed to create a lookup table to match different names in boundary data file and confirmed counts data file. See Github repository for more details on boundary modifications and relationship between boundary names and health region names.

Code for this project is maintained on

Montreal COVID-19 confirmed case count
Montreal COVID-19 confirmed case count
Amazon Web Services (AWS) D3.js Javascript Web Development

AWS S3 csv file as D3 report data source

This is an example of how to read a csv file retrieved from an AWS S3 bucket as a data source for a D3 javascript visualization.

The D3 visualization would be an HTML document hosted on a web server. 

You will use the AWS SDK to get the csv file from the S3 bucket and so you need to have an AWS S3 bucket key and secret but I won’t cover that in this post.

The key point of this post is to highlight that the bucket.getObject function data is read into D3 using  d3.csv.parse(data.Body.toString());  

Another note is that d3.csv.parse is for D3 version 3. Older versions use d3.csvParse. 

Once implemented, whenever the webpage is refreshed it retrieves latest csv file from the S3 bucket and the D3 visualization is updated.

<script src=""></script>

<script type="text/javascript">

// aws key and secret (note these should be retrieved from server not put as plain text into html code)
AWS.config.accessKeyId = 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx';
AWS.config.secretAccessKey = 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx';
AWS.config.region = 'us-east-1';

// create the AWS.Request object
var bucket = new AWS.S3();

// use AWS SDK getobject to retrieve csv file
    Bucket: 'my-S3-bucket', 
    Key: 'myfile.csv'

// function to use the data retrieve 
function awsDataFile(error, data) {
    if (error) {
        return console.log(error);

        // this where magic happens using d3.csv.parse to read myCSVdata.Body.toString()
    myCSVdata = d3.csv.parse(data.Body.toString()); 

        // now loop through data and get fields desired for visualization 
    var counter = 0;
    myCSVdata.forEach(function(d) {
            d.field1= +d.field1;
            d.field2= +d.field2;
            countLoop = counter++;

        // now you can create rest of D3 vizualization here 
        // for example like this example

        my D3 vizualization code here

// this closes bucket.getObject 




Django Geocoding Javascript Postgres Python Web Development

Leaflet.js choropleth map color by count using geoJSON datasource

I have a Django web application that needed an interactive map with shapes corresponding to Canadian postal code FSA areas that were different colors based on how many properties were in each FSA. It ended up looking something like the screenshot below.


This exercise turned out to be relatively easy using the awesome open-source Javascript map library Leaflet.js.

I used this Leaflet.js tutorial as the foundation for my map.

One of the biggest challenges was finding a suitable data source for the FSAs. Chad Skelton (now former) data journalist at the Vancouver Sun wrote a helpful blog post about his experience getting a suitable FSA data source. I ended up using his BC FSA data source for my map.

Statistics Canada hosts a Canada Post FSA boundary files for all of Canada. As Chad Skelton notes these have boundaries that extend out into the ocean among other challenges.

Here is a summary of the steps that I followed to get my choropleth map:

1. Find and download FSA boundary file. See above.

2. Convert FSA boundary file to geoJSON from SHP file using qGIS.

3. Create Django queryset to create data source for counts of properties by FSA to be added to the Leaflet map layer.

4. Create Leaflet.js map in HTML page basically the HTML DIV that holds the map and separate Javascript script that loads Leaflet.js, the FSA geoJSON boundary data and processes it to create the desired map.

Find and download FSA boundary file.

See above.

Convert FSA boundary file to geoJSON from SHP file using qGIS.

Go to and download qGIS. Its free and open source.

Use qGIS to convert the data file from Canada Post or other source to geoJSON format. Lots of blog posts and documentation about how to use qGIS for this just a Google search away.

My geoJSON data source looked like this:

var bcData = {
    "type": "FeatureCollection",
    "crs": { "type": "name", "properties": { "name": "urn:ogc:def:crs:EPSG::4269" } },
    "features": [
    { "type": "Feature", "properties": { "CFSAUID": "V0A", "PRUID": "59", "PRNAME": "British Columbia \/ Colombie-Britannique" }, "geometry": { "type": "MultiPolygon", "coordinates": [ [ [ [ -115.49499542, 50.780018587000029 ], [ -115.50032807, 50.77718343600003 ], [ -115.49722732099997, 50.772528975000057 ], [ -115.49321284, 50.770504059000075 ], [ -115.49393662599999, 50.768143038000062 ], [ -115.50289288699997, 50.762270941000054 ], [ -115.50846411599997, 50.754243300000041 ], [ -115.5104796, 50.753297703000044 ], [ -115.51397592099994, 50.748953800000038 ], [ -115.51861431199995, 50.745737989000077 ], [ -115.52586378899997, 50.743771099000071 ], [ -115.53026371899995, 50.74397910700003 ], [ -115.53451319199996,


Create Django queryset to create data source for counts of properties by FSA to be added to the Leaflet map layer.

I used a SQL query in the Django View to get count of properties by FSA.

This dataset looks like this in the template. These results have only one FSA, if it had more it would have more FSA / count pairs.

   var fsa_array = [["V3J", 19]];

Below is code for  the Django view query to create the fsa_array FSA / counts data source.

    cursor = connection.cursor()
    "select fsa, count(*) \
    from properties \
    group by fsa \
    order by fsa;")
    fsas_cursor = list(cursor.fetchall())

    fsas_array = [(x[0].encode('utf8'), int(x[1])) for x in fsas_cursor]

My Javascript largely retains the Leaflet tutorial code with some modifications:

1. How the legend colors and intervals are assigned is changed but otherwise legend functions the same.

2. Significantly changed how the color for each FSA is assigned. The tutorial had the color in its geoJSON file so only had to reference it directly. My colors were coming from the View so I had to change code to include new function to match FSA’s in both my Django view data and the geoJSON FSA boundary file and return the appropriate color based on the Django View data set count.

var map ='map',{scrollWheelZoom:false}).setView([ active_city_center_lat, active_city_center_lon], active_city_zoom);

map.once('focus', function() { map.scrollWheelZoom.enable(); });

var fsa_array = fsas_array_safe;

L.tileLayer('{id}/{z}/{x}/{y}.png?access_token=pk.eyJ1IjoibWFwYm94IiwiYSI6ImNpandmbXliNDBjZWd2M2x6bDk3c2ZtOTkifQ._QA7i5Mpkd_m30IGElHziw', {
    maxZoom: 18,
    attribution: 'Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, ' +
        'CC-BY-SA, ' +
        'Imagery © Mapbox',
    id: 'mapbox.light'

// control that shows state info on hover
var info = L.control();

info.onAdd = function (map) {
    this._div = L.DomUtil.create('div', 'info');
    return this._div;

info.update = function (props) {
    this._div.innerHTML = (props ?
        '' + props.CFSAUID + ' ' + getFSACount(props.CFSAUID) + ' lonely homes' 
        : 'Hover over each postal area to see lonely home counts to date.');


// get color 
function getColor(n) {
    return n > 30 ? '#b10026'
           : n > 25 ? '#e31a1c' 
           : n > 25 ? '#fc4e2a' 
           : n > 20 ? '#fd8d3c'
           : n > 15  ? '#feb24c'
           : n > 10  ? '#fed976'
           : n > 5  ? '#ffeda0'
           : n > 0  ? '#ffffcc'
           : '#ffffff';

function getFSACount(CFSAUID) {
    var fsaCount;
    for (var i = 0; i < fsa_array.length; i++) {
        if (fsa_array[i][0] === CFSAUID) {
            fsaCount = ' has ' + fsa_array[i][1];
    if (fsaCount == null) {
         fsaCount = ' has no '; 
    return fsaCount;

function getFSAColor(CFSAUID) {
    var color;
    for (var i = 0; i < fsa_array.length; i++) {
    if (fsa_array[i][0] === CFSAUID) {
        color = getColor(fsa_array[i][1]);
        //console.log(fsa_array[i][1] + '-' + color)
    return color;
function style(feature) {
    return {
        weight: 1,
        opacity: 1,
        color: 'white',
        dashArray: '3',
        fillOpacity: 0.7,
        fillColor: getFSAColor(

function highlightFeature(e) {
    var layer =;
        weight: 2,
        color: '#333',
        dashArray: '',
        fillOpacity: 0.7

    if (! && !L.Browser.opera) {


var geojson;

function resetHighlight(e) {

function zoomToFeature(e) {

function onEachFeature(feature, layer) {
        mouseover: highlightFeature,
        mouseout: resetHighlight,
        click: zoomToFeature

geojson = L.geoJson(bcData, {
    style: style,
    onEachFeature: onEachFeature

var legend = L.control({position: 'bottomright'});

legend.onAdd = function (map) {

    var div = L.DomUtil.create('div', 'info legend'),
        grades = [0, 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30],
        labels = [],
        from, to;

    for (var i = 0; i < grades.length; i++) {
        from = grades[i];
        if (i === 0) {
            var_from_to = grades[i];
            var_color = getColor(from);
        } else {
            var_from_to =  from + (grades[i + 1] ? '–' + grades[i + 1] : '+') ;
            var_color = getColor(from + 1);
            ' ' +

    div.innerHTML = labels.join('
'); return div; }; legend.addTo(map);

That is pretty much all there is to creating very nice looking interactive free open-source choropleth maps for your Django website application!

Chart.js Javascript

Chart.js tooltip format number with commas

Chart.js V2.0 is a useful javascript charting library. It looks great, has ton of features though it is new enough that there is still some work to find out how to get some relatively simple things done.

In this case I wanted to format the chart’s tooltip. Tooltips are the pop-ups that show when you hover mouse over a bar or line in a chart and show the yAxis value along with any other information you want to include.

By default Chart.js tooltips do not format numbers with commas and there was no simple option to do this.

Instead after some Googling about I found out it required using Chart.js callbacks feature which can be used to format chart elements. Note V1 used a different method that modified tooltip template but that is deprecated in V2.0.

The callback is in the Options’ tooltips section. You put function into the callback that uses regex to insert commas.

callbacks: {
    label: function(tooltipItem, data) {
        return tooltipItem.yLabel.toString().replace(/\B(?=(\d{3})+(?!\d))/g, ",");

This can be done as a global change to all charts in the page or just to a specific chart which is what I used and is shown in the example below.

The result is that the tooltip now has a commas.

chartjs tooltip number comma

Django Google Maps API Javascript

Display Django queryset results on Google Map

I wanted to be able to show locations by latitude and longitude with data from Django 1.8 website on a Google Map using the Google Maps API.

I used the accepted answer from a stackoverflow question to create a Google Map with multiple markers that had the store name with a link that would open that store’s details when clicked.

I did the following:

  • copied the stackoverflow solution javascript and html code into new Django template called fountain_map.html
  • created new Django view called fountain_map for that template
  • create new line to route the fountain_map url for new view/template

The stackoverflow answer used Google Maps javascript that had a javascript array like this:

    var locations = [
      [‘Bondi Beach’, -33.890542, 151.274856, 4],
      [‘Coogee Beach’, -33.923036, 151.259052, 5],
      [‘Cronulla Beach’, -34.028249, 151.157507, 3],
      [‘Manly Beach’, -33.80010128657071, 151.28747820854187, 2],
      [‘Maroubra Beach’, -33.950198, 151.259302, 1]

However while the example has this hard coded list of locations I wanted a dynamic list populated by queryset records from the new view.

So I created a queryset in the view that retrieved the location records:


map_points = Fountains.objects.filter(lat__isnull=False)

Note that I filtered to only retrieve records that had a lat value so I wasn’t sending records that couldn’t be mapped.

Since the queryset object is not immediately readable by the javascript as the location variable, it needed to be transformed into a format acceptable for the javascript.

There are a couple of options:

  • Use Django’s serialization to turn it into JSON
  • Loop through queryset object and manually build the array in correct format, this could be done in the view or in the template

I choose to do this transformation in the template. Django’s serialization has lots of documentation and lots of SO question and answer but seemed easier to do this in template for now.

So in the template i simply looped through the map_point queryset object to create the array that the var locations required.

The javascript required the square brackets as shown in example above along with quotes around the location name.

Note that the Stack Overflow answer also has a digit as the fourth item in the record but I excluded that in mine. Not sure what it was but user obviously wanted to show it in marker label or something like that.

Anyways my template loop looked like this:

      var locations = [
        {% for point in map_points %}
            {% if = None %}
            {% else %}
              {{ }}’, {{ }}, {{ point.lon }}],
            {% endif %}
        {% endfor%}

You can see that I retrieved the following values for the locations array from the queryset results:

  • name (fountain name to show on marker label popup)
  • id (so that it could be used to create marker link to the Django view for that store)
  • lat
  • lon

That was all I needed to do and gave me a Google Map showing each fountain’s location with a Google red pin marker. When user clicked on marker, the fountain name would show that had link to that fountain’s detail page.

google map

Google Charts Javascript

How to move Google Chart x-axis to top of chart

The newest Google Charts API allows you to more easily change the axis that you want the ticks and labels are on.

In older version you had to create a secondary axis with dummy data and hide it showing only the axis with the real data on the where you want it (eg right side instead of left or top instead of bottom).

You will still do this in the new version but it is easier because you can use the ‘axes’ option which is part of the ‘Dual-axis’ feature .

Note that you will continue to use the hAxis and vAxis options as normal but will also use a new option called axes in which you specify the ‘side’ you want axis on.

Also note that the axes option will be used to name the axis so the hAxis or vAxis option axis title will be ignored.

Here is example options showing axes options being used to the x-axis on the top of a horizontal bar chart:

//set chart options
var options = {
     title: ”,
     width: ‘80%’,
     height: 700,
     bar: { groupWidth: ‘95%’ },
     legend: { position: ‘none’ },
     bars: ‘horizontal’,
     hAxis: {
          title: ‘my x axis’,
          minValue: 0,
          format: ‘decimal’,
          textPosition: ‘out’,
     vAxis: {
          title: ‘my y axis’,
          textPosition: ‘out’
     axes: {
          x: {
               0: { side: ‘top’, label: ‘my x axis’}
          y: {
               0: { side: ‘left’, label: ‘my y axis’}
API Google Maps API Javascript PHP Web Development

Introducing Cardivvy – a website showing Car2Go real time car locations, parking and service areas

Car2Go provides developer access to their real-time vehicle location and parking availability, and service area boundaries for all of their city locations around the world.

I am using the Car2Go API to power a website called that I created for my own use after struggling with the official Car2Go map on their site when using my mobile phone. I wanted a way to find cars by street locations.

The site includes link to get vehicle location, parking lot location and service area boundaries on a Google Map. You can click into each city, view available cars alphabetically by street location or parking lot location, and then click through to car current location on a Google Map. Each city’s Car2Go service area can be viewed on a Google Map.

I am waiting for ZipCar to get their API up and running which should be available Fall 2015, then I will integrate that into the cardivvy site too so I can see where both cars are available.

This is example of Car2Go service area boundary for Vancouver area.