Microsoft’s GeoFlow for Excel is GeoTime?

On April 11th 2013, Microsoft announced a project codenamed “GeoFlow” for Excel 2013 on their Excel Blog.

GeoFlow lets you plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create interactive ‘tours’ to share with others. […] GeoFlow adds to the existing self-service Business Intelligence capabilities in Excel 2013, such as Microsoft Data Explorer Preview and Power View, to help discover and visualize large amounts of data, from Twitter traffic to sales performance to population data in cities around the world.

The three key points of the add-in are (1) map data, (2) discover insights, and (3) share stories. It features timeline capabilities, annotation, capturing and sharing. Sounds familiar? It does to me at least; it reminds me of GeoTime, a visual analytics product developed by the company Oculus. GeoTime was first described in 2008 by Eccles, Kapler, Harper, and Wright in a research paper called “Stories in GeoTime” in the journal Information Visualization (7, 3-17).

What do you think, has Microsoft stolen Oculus idea here?

Installation of Microsoft Word plugin in Mendeley

I recently installed the free reference manager Mendeley. The desktop application is great so far with many nice features such as collaboration, a web app, iPad app, and a citation plug-in for Microsoft Word. However, when I tried to install the MS Word plugin on my computer, running a 64-bit Windows 7 Professional operating system and Microsoft Word 2010, the plug-in would not show up in the ribbon under References as  “Mendeley Cite-O-Matic”.

I searched the Mendeley support forum and found out that I was not alone having a problem with the automatic installation of the MS Word plug-in from the Tools menu. The solution for me was a slight modification of one of the Mendeley agent’s suggested solutions:

1) Install MS Word plugin from the Tools menu in Mendeley Desktop.

2) Browse to C:\Users\[YourUserProfile]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Startup

(The path might be slightly different on your machine. Remember also that the AppData folder is hidden. To make this folder visible, click Organize in the window toolbar -> Folder and search options -> View tab -> Hidden files and folders -> Show hidden files, folders, and drives)

3) Copy the file Mendeley-1.7.1.dotm

(Alternatively, you may also find this file in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Mendeley Desktop\wordPlugin folder)

4) Browse to C:\Users\[YourUserProfile]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Autostart

5) Paste the file in the root of the folder.

6) Done!

The solution was to put the global template Mendeley-1.7.1.dotm in the Autostart folder instead of the Startup folder, which seems to be the normal folder for global templates from what I have read.

Please comment and let me know if this was helpful to you.