Arcadia Instant Basics

Published on November 4, 2015

This section will familiarize you with Arcadia Instant. To do this, we’ll look at an existing app (“World Population and GDP Trends”) and revise it.

Once you’ve logged in to Arcadia Instant, head to “Apps” and click on “World Population and GDP Trends.” Since you’ll work with this a lot, feel free to put it in your App Group.

Clicking on the app link will open up the app just as any kind of viewer would interact with it. Note that the app starts with four vizes (scroll down).


The population bubble chart is exclusive to 2010. Clicking a country in this chart will filter all the other views.

The Bottom view is a Wikipedia page. At launch, it starts as the Wikipedia page for GDP; but once you click on any country in the bubble chart, it will change to the page for that country. This is an interesting combination of Arcadia’s link viz with a parameter.

The other two charts are historical line charts of population and GDP per capita, which also get filtered by clicking a country on the population bubble chart.

How to Revise an Existing Visualization

Let’s make a few changes to the population bubble chart. Perhaps you don’t like that the tooltip says “sum” on the population field and you also want population in millions with two decimals.

Since you know that the underlying data has only one record for each year (you can double check this by going to “Edit data set” in a new window at the top of the sidebar, click “Data Model” and then click “Show Data”), you can remove the aggregation, rename the field, enter an expression, and change the display format to accomplish your goal.

After saving, go back to the original tab with the “World Population & GDP Trends” app. To see your changes, click the refresh button at the corner of that viz.

  1. To do this, click “Edit” at the top of the App’s screen. 
  2. You then click edit at the top right of the World Population Distribution viz. 
  3. Now that you are on the viz’s edit screen, you can simply remove the aggregate. Click the sum(population) pill->Aggregates->Remove Aggregates. 
  4. Then click the pill again-> [ ]Enter/Edit Expression and change it to read [population]/1000000 AS ‘Population (millions)’ and click “Save.” (You can also use Alias->Set to change the display name of the measure instead of writing AS ‘Population (millions)’ in the expression.)
  5. In the same menu, click “Display Format” and enter ,.2f. This will change the format to a have a thousands comma separator and a decimal with two digits after it. (Arcadia uses the D3 JavaScript library for formatting. You can find out more about this in their documentation, which is easily accessible at the top right under Help.)
  6. Click “Refresh Visual” to see your changes. Then make sure you click the orange “Save” button at the top left. You’ll notice that if you mouse over the dark blue China bubble, the tooltip now says:
      image15 image07  

After saving, go back to the original tab with the “World Population & GDP Trends” app. To see your changes, click the vizes refresh button at the corner of that viz.