Computer Scienceや読書のメモ

Open Source at Uber

Article(2000 words)



  • We sat down with Shan
    ① to learn about her journey to data visualization,
    ② the importance of open sourcing these tools
    ③ and how will empower members of the open source community / to leverage location data / to make better, more useful maps.


When did you first get interested in computer science?

  • My background is actually in architecture.

  • This experience got me interested in coding and computer science / because I learned / that you can actually use code / to assist in the design process.

  • This type of 3D modeling opened the door / to a completely new domain / for me.


How did you transition from computer science to data visualization?

  • I didn’t want to put design away / just because I was also interested in computer science.


Given your untraditional path to data visualization, was it difficult to feel accepted by this community? 

  • The data visualization community combines design and software engineering.
  • usually takes some time / before people get a sense for your skillset.


What advice would you give architects or designers like yourself who are interested in getting into coding?

  • I asked myself: “What can I do that combines creativity with coding?”
  • if you find yourself actually interested in math, excited about seeing designs generated / by couple lines of code, / I think data visualization is a perfect path.


When you first came to Uber, what projects were you working on?

  • they used data visualization / to help them plot charts / and make them look nice.
  • Essentially, / it is an R package / that helps you make your charts sharper and more on-brand, Uber-style. We still use it!


What’s the coolest visualization you’ve ever made?

  • A Day’s Worth of Uber trips in London 

  • The visualization basically depicts one full day of Uber trips / via an animation presented as moving lines / along the street.
  • You can see the line fade in and out / as it moves, / imagining each of the lines / as one car driving on the road.
  • I think / Uber was one of the first to have a strong visualization team / in terms of working across different domains (both physical and virtual) / and open sourcing our tools.


How did you first get involved with open source at Uber?


  • is a major open source effort / that the Data Visualization team has been working on / for a while.
  • We build data visualization tools / to help people get insights faster.
  • Instead of spending two to three weeks building everything from scratch, / these tools help you quickly explore the data and validate your hypothesis / without having to write a lot of code.


Why did your team first decide to open source

  • We realized / there is really not much software out there / like That’s why / we decided to open source it.
  • As a software engineer, / when you create something truly awesome, / you naturally want to get it out to the world / so everybody else can use it.
  • Once you open source it, / other people can also contribute back to it.
  • In my opinion, / that’s how you make a library better and better.


What exactly does do?

  • It’s high performance and super easy-to-use, / given that all you need to do is drop in a CSV or a JSON file.


What is most challenging about open sourcing something?

  • Emotionally, / it’s the fact / that everyone is going to see your code. You can’t hide it anymore.
  • A lot of people say, “Oh, this visualization is beautiful,” / but when you dive into the code, / it might actually be built with hangers and duct tape.


And what is the most rewarding about the process?

  • The most rewarding part / about open sourcing something is seeing the number of downloads / and knowing / that people actually find it useful.


Uber’s Visualization team has open sourced the following projects:



  • dedicated to leveraging location data
  • put design away デザインを切り離す
  • depicts one full day 一日を描いている
  • get it out to the world 世界に広める