In my humble opinion this is one of the most interesting advanced Excel charting projects I’ve ever done. I call it celtic muse, as it stirs my Scottish soul.
Click this image for a Flash Movie recorded from celtic muse.
If you enjoyed solarsong
, I think you’ll be fascinated by this. It uses the Windows DirectShow API to play a haunting celtic strain. The show is very much enhanced by the soundtrack so please be sure to download the workbook!
My inspiration for celtic muse was the “1,000 Blocks” sculpture by Curtis Steiner of the Seattle Art Museum. Using 1,000 identical walnut blocks he has created an almost unbelievable number of truly inspired tiled images. Each image uses all 1,000 blocks arranged in a grid 20 tall by 50 wide. Each block looks like this:
I thought it would be interesting to recreate his Flash presentation using Excel 2007. I’m calling this type of chart an Excel Tile Chart as each element of the image is one of the six faces of the above block. This technique could be very useful for displaying mathematical tessellations
The chart itself is an XY (Scatter) type.
The presentation includes 78 images, which means 78,000 tiles had to be encoded to work with the chart. I’d like to thank my wife and my 10-year old daughter for helping with that task!
I’d also like to thank Robert Mundigl from Clearly and Simply
. Robert was kind enough to review the celtic muse
workbook prior to publishing and offered some excellent suggestions for improving it that I had not thought of. Thank you very much Robert.
Since this project makes heavy use of various Windows APIs I’m confident it will only work on Windows based computers. The workbook itself is 6.8 MB, almost all of which is the ebedded binary data for the beautiful MP3 soundtrack. I promise it’s well worth the download.
Here is the file.
— UPDATE —
It seems that the Flash integration in this project may not work for some, especially if you have a 64 bit version of Windows. Adobe is working on a version of Flash for 64 bits, but it is not ready yet. So, here is a version of celtic muse with all traces of Flash removed. Just in case you were wondering, Flash was only used to display that spinning cube that you can also see on this blog post (if you are running a 32 bit browser!). And that only happened whey you clicked on the question mark button. Here’s the Flashless version:
And here’s a list of other animated charts on Excel Hero: