Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Nimbits Annotated Timeline chart

The Nimbits Server UI uses the Google Visualization API to display data in the main portal. You can use the Annotated timeline to slice and dice your data by selecting time ranges and dragging other points into it. 

What's interesting about Nimbits and time ranges, is that it uses one logical algorithm to attempt to understand what time range you are requesting. This algorithm is used anywhere a timespan is being requested. So if you are pulling data from the chart API web service, downloading a series, or entering a time range into the chart, you can use the same date formats and nimbits will understand.

Some examples of timespan requests are a unix epoch time in milliseconds or seconds, a text date, or even an abstract date like "now" or "*" for the current time, and -1d for one day in the past from the end time. 

Nimbits interprets all date requests as a start and end time. Start times can be  relative to end times when using an abstract like -7d (the last 7 days) as above. 

When you double click on a data point in Nimbits, the portal opens with a point control window with the current value of the data point in it and the chart control.  In order to show useful information right away, Nimbits gets the date of the last recorded value for that point, and the last 100 recorded values from that date.  

Chart Features
  • Enter a start and end timestamp boxes integerate into Nimbit's date interpretation algorithm. Many combinations of date entiry is possible, including a Unix time, * or now in the end date for the current time, -1d -5h etc in the start time for a relative range to the start time. Read more here.
  • Annotations. Any recorded value with a text value in the note field will show as an annotation. Shown here as "Hello" 
  • Drag and drop. Drag your points or those from your connections into the chart to compare them on the same display.
  • Click the unpin button to move the chart, or maximize to full screen.
  • The zoom selection will zoom into the current data.  Note that you must select a time range and click the refresh button to first download the data you want, then use the zoom options to zoom into that data. The zoom options do not download data outside the selected time range. 
  • MinY and MaxY selections for changing the Y axis. 
  • Zoom slider at the bottom for zooming in.