Jessica Lord

  1. Sheetsee 3

    I’ve just updated Sheetsee.js with new features and all new docs. I’ve been waiting to ship this, it feels like, for far too long. I’m hoping now Sheetsee is at a solid enough place that I can focus spare time on making more fork-n-go examples.

    I’ll get straight to the most exciting point: the new sample data for the demos is of my flattened penny collection. Below are the other things.

    New Features


    Tables: Pagination, Multi Table Sorting and Filtering

    Tables can now be paginated so that you don’t have to display your entire spreadsheet of data in one go. Unless you want to.

    Tables now supports having multiple tables with sorting and filtering. So long as you keep your table IDs straight, you’re golden.

    See: table demo.

    Maps: Polygons and Lines

    Maps now support polygons and lines. So long as you have the correct coordinate structure in your cells, Sheetsee will add them to the geoJSON it creates for your maps. More details for coordinates of lines and polygons in geoJSON are here, but briefly:

    A linestring:

    [-122.41722106933594, 37.7663045891584], [-122.40477561950684, 37.77695634643178]

    A polygon:

    [-122.41790771484375, 37.740381166384914], [-122.41790771484375, 37.74520008134973], [-122.40966796874999, 37.74520008134973],[-122.40966796874999, 37.740381166384914], [-122.41790771484375, 37.740381166384914]

    A Multipolygon:

    [[-122.431640625, 37.79106586542567], [-122.431640625, 37.797441398913286], [-122.42666244506835, 37.797441398913286],[-122.42666244506835, 37.79106586542567], [-122.431640625, 37.79106586542567]], 
    [[-122.43352890014648, 37.78197638783258], [-122.43352890014648, 37.789031004883654], [-122.42443084716797, 37.789031004883654], [-122.42443084716797, 37.78197638783258], [-122.43352890014648, 37.78197638783258]]

    See: map demo.


    I redid the documentation and website for Sheetsee. Instead of one gigantic readme file/website, all of the different elements are given their own file/page. Now you can find docs, demos, tips and such all filed away nicely here in the repository and on the website.


    The other big thing that has happened to Sheetsee is that I’ve taken each component (core, maps, tables and charts) and made them into their own Node.js module. This makes for smaller, more manageable code files and it makes it so that users can build their own version of Sheetsee with just the elements they want to use. For instance, if you’re only making maps, just build a Sheetsee with the map component.

    All builds come with the `sheetsee-core` module which contains all of the data organizing functions.

    The module `sheetsee` is a command line module that builds your custom sheetsee for you.

    If you’re not interested in Node modules or building anything, that’s ok, too. I’ll always keep a full build (with all the components) here in the sheetsee.js repository (which from here on out exists to be the consolidated documentation and source of a full build).

    If you need to file an issue for a bug or feature, try and file it on the repository with the component it relates to (they each have their own repository now):



  2. Sheetsee Bits: Linking to Google Maps, Yelp

    There are lots of ways you can take data from you Google Spreadsheet and use it in a website in cool ways. I’m going to do a few posts on such things. Neat!

    If your spreadsheet contains address information, using templates (Sheetsee.js uses a form of Mustache), you can embed those elements into a Google Maps URL query string (this is the same URL that is generated when you type in an address into the search bar yourself) and create links/buttons that will open locations up directly in Google Maps on desktops and phones. Similarly you can put them in Yelp queries, too.

    The basic elements are: a spreadsheet with address info + HTML template to create the query string.

    Par Exemple

    The Sheetsee Hack-Spots is an does such a thing. Here is the spreadsheet, with address information:

    In the HTML template for the table on the Hack-Spots page, the button’s links look like this:

    <a class="button" href="{{address}},{{city}},{{state}}" target="_blank">View in Google Maps</a>
    <a class="button" href="{{name}}&find_loc={{city}},{{state}}" target="_blank">Find on Yelp</a>

    Here is the exact line of code on GitHub.

    We’re inserting the address, city, and state details from the spreadsheet into the structure of a query string for Google maps and Yelp. You can figure out the query string of a service by just using it (type in an address in Google Maps) and looking at the resulting URL.

    With a some CSS and such, the resulting website has a table with the hack spots and a button for viewing in Google Maps or Yelp:


    When the page builds, it creates the correct link for each row. When someone clicks on the buttons it takes them directly to the Google Map search result for that address. BAM!

  3. Fork n Go

    I began Sheetsee last year as an effort to make wider use of existing, free and easy to use web technologies. I’m always hacking on it and always trying to make it easier to use.

    I think that using a Google Spreadsheet as a database can quickly and easily solve a lot of the initial barriers to getting-going that prevent even savy developers from starting even a simple website if it requires a database. More so I think that using Google Spreadsheet as a database can bring simple and easy control to many people.

    Because you can easily pick contributors, viewers; share raw or connect to a Google Form – collaborating on information can become really, really easy. When connected to a templated website, the information becomes more meaningful.

    Currently there is sheetsee-cache, a node.js caching version, sheetsee.js, the basic client-side version which is much more accessible. Recently I’ve started getting excited about an iteration even more approachable, making use of the free and easy hosting through GitHub Pages.

    All it takes to get a website going for a repository on GitHub is a branch named gh-pages containing web files. You also don’t need a master branch, you can have a repo with just one branch named gh-pages. Here is what I think is really cool, if you fork a project with just a gh-pages branch, you’re only a commit away from having a live version yourself. If this repo being forked is using sheetsee.js then everyone is a fork, commit and spreadsheet away from having a live website connected to an easy (a familiar spreadsheet UI and no ‘publish’ flow because Google autosaves) to use database that they manage (control permissions, review revision history).

    Hack Spots


    For example, I made this website to collect hack spots all over the world from friends and friends of friends (the spreadsheet is wide open, so you can add some, too!). It’s using sheetsee to power the table, map and other elements of the page. Its source is in this repo, with just a gh-pages branch. To create an instance of this site for yourself all you need to do:

    • Create a Google spreadsheet with the same headers (just copy and paste header row from the original).
    • Fork the original source.
    • Edit the HTML file directly on to replace the original spreadsheet’s unique key with your spreadsheet’s key (found in your spreadsheet’s URL).
    • Commit your change.

    Now you have the same site connected to a spreadsheet that you manage — it’s live and can be found at


    I think there could be many potential uses for web developers and designers to use this for small projects that catch their fancy, but I’m really interested in this as a way to make creating a live website with collaborative data available to people who think setting up a website is far beyond their grasp (or not free). All it takes is a designer/developer to create one working version for a use case to enable many to easily replicate it. Could this help civic organizers? Cities? Neighborhood groups?

    So I’m wondering, what are the possible use cases? For instance, I’m currently working on a site for managing lending tools in a group of friends or neighborhood. This information can be easily stored in a spreadsheet but made much more useable through a website. Any group could use the steps mentioned above and get this going for themselves in minutes. No installation and after one person forks the site, all other collaborators only need interact with the spreadsheet.

    Edit: Also! There are lots of  automation into Google spreadsheets possibilities through (which I use for the Pocket reads and Instagrams on the front of my site).

    Hit me up on Twitter, email or on GitHub if you’ve got thoughts or ideas for this!

  4. Dat

    Dat Diagram


    Disclaimer: I know @maxogden very well, but that doesn’t mean I like everything that he does. But I do like Dat.

    It’s really exciting to see all the discussion that’s started based on one GitHub readme. The more perspectives, the better Dat will be. In the back and forth I’ve noticed a few misunderstandings about Dat and as it often goes for me, I felt the urge to diagram.

    The diagram above illustrates that Dat will be an ecosystem of modules that can be tacked on and synced with different datasets; importantly, this includes very big datasets. Modules and combination of modules can be shared. These modules will use a common API but can be written in any language and hosted anywhere. The ecosystem exists for the benefit of data consumers and lives outside the realm of data producers.

    Dat and Government

    Dat is being built to solve a problem that exists today without a good solution: collaborating on really large datasets and sharing data transformations. While Dat can be used by anyone and government certainly fits the anyone bucket, it isn’t a new tool for government. It is a new tool for those who work everyday with data, government or other.

    Because Dat will be a platform that works with any type of tabular data, it prefers no one type, it is completely independent of the government data standards and liberation efforts that are ongoing. And yes, this effort is a cultural effort. I know this to be very true as I’ve been involved with government all of my career from the City of Boston to Code for America (apply now!) and am still active in this important cultural shift.

    Dat will exist outside of and in parallel to whatever comes of this effort and therefore will work no matter what standards emerge from the effort – that’s awesome!

    Build Dat

    Because nothing like Dat exists today, I absolutely believe someone should give something like Dat a go. I believe we should always try to make things – because things make other, better things possible. E.O Wilison says it much more eloquently:

    The reason is that the adoption of any one innovation made adoption of certain others possible, which then, if useful, were more likely to spread. Bands and communities of bands with better combinations of cultural innovations became more productive and better equipped for competition and war.

    Wilson, Edward O. (2012-04-02). The Social Conquest of Earth (Kindle Locations 1496-1498). Norton. Kindle Edition.



    Remember, Git wasn’t the first version control and most of us wouldn’t know it like we do today if weren’t that years after it was built someone built an interface on top of it.

    While Git works for many of us, it doesn’t work for everyone. And those that it doesn’t work for are doing awesome work in the civic, science or legal space. They have huge, huge datasets that move slow on Git. They have realtime data constantly updating and yielding too many commits for Git to handle. They have no good way to share this data or the transformation algorithms they used. This transformation algorithm aspect is really awesome because it also helps the majority of us who work with small or medium sized datasets that are routinely published in the same file and text formats that require frequent transforming. With Dat you can create a transformation module in your favorite language that can be hooked up to your data sync so that you don’t have to constantly re-transform – and you can share that modules with others. It’s simply a script hosted somewhere. There is a place for hosting code that I love.

    Open + Community Built

    I’m excited that Dat will not only be built in the open but embody its own ideals and be structured so that contributing is easy. Similar to NPM, the package manager for the Node.js community, Dat will be made up of small modules related through a common API. The community can submit modules to transform data or submit pull requests to the API. There are already pull requests and issues (and forks?!) on the readme.


    Dat doesn’t change how groups are publishing data – it changes how people interact with it and share it with others.  I can’t wait to see what comes from all the brains on this!


  5. Sheetsee.js 2.0



    Thanks to a Code Sprint Grant from Knight-Mozilla’s Open News I’m going to spend lots of time making sheetsee.js all that it can be!

    Sheetsee.js is Google spreadsheet and visualization mashup I built as a part of my project, See Penny Work, during my fellowship with Code for America last year. The goal for sheetsee.js is to use Google spreadsheets as an easy way to store, serve and collaborate on data all the while feeding it into a website that visualizes the data. Once the website and spreadsheet are connected (set it an d forget it!) you only need to interact with the spreadsheet; add another row and with every autosave your website reflects the changes. No pushing or uploading, no teaching collaborators anything more than the spreadsheet.

    Currently it’s built really specifically for its original instance in my CfA project. I’ll be spending the next two months making it much more general and adding features like more visualizations out of the box, data caching, data filters, responsiveness and other exciting stuff.

    It will be built with news organizations in mind – a template for small and medium newsrooms to customize and be able to deploy quickly. And WBEZ is the guinea pig! But, as I mentioned, I’m making it really general and can I imagine many other instances in communities or small groups where this would be useful (in particular, community collected data). I’ve got some side projects in mind for it, too.

    Related, I’ll be at coffee shops in Oakland a lot in the near future, join and hack!

    Lots of thanks to Dan Sinker for making things happen!

    Check out the awesome stuff Open News does!

  6. A Government More Like the People

    A year out of college and doe-eyed I started work in the public sector. Jaded by the starchitecture, design-for-designers mentality of my architecture schooling, I wanted to work at city scale and for the people. It wasn’t long, however, until I realized I wasn’t like most people in city government. A young go-getter, I was teaching coworkers the tools I’d been using throughout and before college; it was an office joke when, after a year and a half I asked for a performance review (a coworker said he hadn’t had one in the 15 years he’d been there). I began to work across departments as I was the only one who could do some of the things I could, and there was no one else I could ask, “Is this the best way to do this? Have you tried this new tool?”

    After three years I was worried about the amount of non-learning that had happened in my time there, I was exhausted from trying to make change only to hit wall after wall. Luckily, this coincided with my meeting some 2011 Code for America fellows. Less than a year later I’d be in California for the first time and working on government technology from a different, and more personally satisfying, angle.

    There is a great gulf between where we are as a society in terms of technology, connectedness and new efficiencies and where government sits in respect to the same. This gulf has become apparent enough that it is the subject of books, talks, fellowships – it’s now a movement.

    While after almost 4+ years willfully in the trenches of government technology I have more war stories than success stories, I’m still optimistic. This is because we’re at a unique place. A revolutionary kind of place. For the first time we the people have the capacity to hold government accountable in a meaningful way. The tools we use in our everyday lives often empower us to understand our cites better than those at City Hall.

    The movement is a result from the pressure the gulf places on government. Government hasn’t put pressure on itself to get better – this movement comes from the people. I believe we’re at the beginning of a sea change.

    There are many reasons government hasn’t kept up: tight budgets, the expectation to be unflappable and the correlated risk aversion, siloed departments, aging staff and skills and the lack of competition. These reasons and more are being directly challenged by the fact that our lives outside of government have been dramatically changed by the technology of the last 20 years.

    Tight Budgets : Open Source, SaaS, Google et al

    The open source community is thriving – there’s even an civic tech open source community. The software being built is good and if it’s not free it’s sold as a service for what’s still a bargain. It’s often continuously maintained – that means free upgrades. Why on Earth would a cash strapped city still shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for long term binding contracts on software that’s probably out of date as soon as they get it?

    Unfortunately, even if you get a city that wants to go the open source route, procurement standards hold them hostage and keep small companies out of competition with enterprises. People are working on that.

    An even brighter area of possibility is all of the free services many of us take for granted that haven’t yet penetrated City Hall. I’m talking about making maps, charts and forms through Google, creating a website for a project or department on WordPress or Tumblr. Storing and cataloguing photographs on Flickr. These services are tried and true at this point, are free or almost free and best of all make it really, really easy to share.

    Risk Aversion : Prototypes

    The government must remain to some degree risk adverse – private information must be secure and City Halls mustn’t crumble. But there is enough room to play in to keep everyone busy for a while.

    If New York City’s Broadway pedestrian zone hasn’t already made this clear: some street paint can go a long way. Low cost, temporary changes are a great way of making positive change or staying away from costly, permanent mistakes. And no doubt the quicker action makes for a happy citizen, too. A more agile government can benefit all.

    Sites like Neighborland, and Better Block are full of many relatively (compared to typical city projects) easy to initiate ideas and some of the free services mentioned earlier can help facilitate prototype projects.

    Competition : Be the Best!

    Cities do not have to compete to be the government for the city. And if you’re not the Mayor there is a good chance you can keep your job for 20, 30 years whether you learn new things or not. So while private firms handling tasks similar to those of cities like urban planning, payments and record keeping kept on top of changes in standards, City Hall did not. I think this is a large part of why we are where we are today.

    Be a more innovative, open and agile city than that other city. Sick as I am of these buzzwords already, I think the movement has finally given cities something to compete for, lest be publicly shamed and left behind. Hopefully in time the buzz-factor will yield real institutional change by promoting innovation and professional development.

    I hope that this happens and eventually the insides of City Halls become more attractive to developers and civic tech becomes exciting for entrepreneurs.

    Silos : Distributed Source Control

    It’s sad and it’s frustrating how many situations boil down to lack of communication or turf wars between departments (the former probably leading to the latter). If only staff and departments could contribute to databases, contracts and other documents the way programmers use GitHub. And! What if they were by default open source. At minimum, shared access across all departments for employees.

    Connectedness : @Gov

    The best thing about the internet is the ease in which it allows us to share. Your friends on Twitter and Facebook may share too much, but nonetheless, social networks have made people and companies more accessible and accountable (if only for fear of Twitter storms). We want the same from our government – clear and simple ways to reach who we need.

    I don’t expect or think that government should ever be on the bleeding edge of technology – that is not their role. But the current gulf is too great. I want a government a little more like the people: open source and distributed like nerds, agile and always looking to improve like a startup and connected and accountable like friends and family.

  7. Horizontal Web

    I recently re-did Mikeal Rogers website, Future Aloof(actually we’re still fixing a couple of bugs, so bear with us). As the person who came up with the designs, I have only myself to blame for the crazy mess that is the horizontal reading website I’d envisioned. Let’s talk about it. Below is the structure of the important components for Future Aloof:

    CSS Multi-Column, Video Bar

    I needed the text to expand right in columns in a predetermined area of the page subject to change depending on if the video bar is toggled on and off. Video bar should be the width of the site and not end awkwardly in the middle. The path I took to making this work is what I discuss below, ignoring a lot of the overflow, white-space and other tribulations. The site also does a few other things like respond to your screen and at 1024px and under the video bar is eliminated and ‘video’ in the menu no longer toggles the bar but becomes a link to a video page. But those weren’t as finicky as these other bits.

    Issue: Force Columns to Expand Right

    Multi-column, and it seems the web in general, wants to expand down – not right. The only way I found to constrain the multi-column element #entries where I wanted it and force it to expand right was to wrap it in a container #entryWrapper with padding . There is a max-height option, which I may or may not have tried, it’s a haze, but in the end I chose to keep all constraining forces together in #entryWrapper.

    On #entries I’m using column-width: 300px; so that it generates as many columns as it needs (rather than prescribing a number of columns with column-count: x;). Note, it uses this as a min-width suggestion and in my case generated columns that are 387px wide. I’m happy to say that the column-gap will remain true to you.

    Issue: No Self Awareness

    Now that we’ve got the columns constrained to where we want them on the page and they’re expanding right, we must solve the issue that it #entries has no idea how many columns it’s generated and how wide that’s made it or its parent #entryWrapper. This means other children like #videoWrapper won’t fill to match this unknown width.

    So I set empty span “markers” at the start #theStart and end #theEnd of the text in #entries. I then used jquery to find the distance between the two, adjusting for negative numbers if the page has been scrolled right and the remaining column width to the right of #theEnd.

    var start = Math.abs($('#theStart').offset().left)
    var end = ($('#theEnd').offset().left) + 400
    var pageWidth = start + end

    I use this the give #videoWrapper a width on load and when the video bar is toggled on and off (because when the text has more or less vertical space, it takes up more or less horizontal space).

    Also, forget having any control over things like particular columns or every other column or nth column…

    Issue: Firefox

    While Firefox supports the multi-column in general, it doesn’t seem to support column-break-before or column-break-after, which is a shame, because in webkit that’s how you can tell it to avoid breaking in the middle of lists or block quotes and to always break for new posts.

    Those damn scrollbars. In webkit I can hide the scrollbar ::-webkit-scrollbar {height: 0px; width: 0px;} and keep things looking the way I want while still having scrolling available through trackpad, mice, arrow keys or on-screen arrow clicks. Since the scrolling element is behind the right and left column navigation elements, in Firefox the scrollbar was awkwardly cut off on each end and made the center portion of the page however many pixels taller than the two right and left elements. Not wanting to use major plugins for dealing with scroll bars I sacrificed some of the single-frame experience of the page and used jquery to check for Firefox and then change the CSS structure so that the entire page scrolled and a more tolerable-full-screen-width scrollbar is used.

    Also, hopefully you’re on the latest version of Firefox.

    Tell Me There is a Better Way

    Things seems fairly straightforward now, but it was quite a process. I did a lot of internet-researching, friend’s brains picking and general starting over and trying again before I came to these solutions. There doesn’t seem to be many horizontal reading-based (not just photography portfolios) websites out there – perhaps there is a reason. I’ll also mention that I was very much trying to keep the site as light and simple as I could. I didn’t want to bulk up on plugins or write mega js to parse text and generate columns. I like it being mostly CSS and 69 lines of jquery (half of which is unrelated to columns and scrolling right but handles toggling of the video bar and menu navigation) But, alas, there now exists one! A horizontal reading site! Push the web right!

    But seriously, share experiences and insights, please.


    1. Mikeal Rogers’ Future Aloof
    2. Multi-Column Layout on MDN
    3. Thinking for A Living, the only really good, not strictly photos, horizontal website I know of
  8. Twenty Twelve

    Map of 2012

    Farewell, 2012! It’s been real. Went a lot of places during my Code for America fellowship this year, but not in middle America, which is just as well, I needed a place to drop a vertical calendar in this map.

    Code for America was the best decision I’ve made and this has been the best year I’ve had. That’s it and that’s all. #woowoo

    Happy New Year!

  9. San Franniversary

    San Franniversary

    It’s my San Franniversary! A year ago today I flew to California for the first time to do this CfA thing. Of course, I now live in the warmer, flatter, node.js-ier and according to me, all around nicer Oakland, but that doesn’t play as nicely with ‘anniversary’. Also, what a year!

  10. Multiple Heroku Accounts

    I finally actually sat down to tackle my multiple Heroku accounts problem. I started by following Chris’s comment and using a plugin. Something went awry, probably my fault, but I eneded up uninstalling it (which turns out to be a pain) and figuring out how to do what it does manually.

    Create new keys for accounts

    First, create new keys for each of the accounts you’re setting up. For me that’s a work account and personal account.

    ssh-keygen -t rsa -C ""

    When it asks what to name it, give it a name that’s easy to recall, like

    Configure your system .ssh

    Next, you have to edit your .ssh/config file and set up new hosts. If you use Textmate, you can type mate ~/.ssh/config in terminal. Add these lines, changing out the work/personal and IdentityFile to match your needs/keys.

     IdentityFile ~/.ssh/
     IdentitiesOnly yes
    Host heroku.personal
     IdentityFile ~/.ssh/identity.heroku.personal
     IdentitiesOnly yes

    Configure your git repo

    Now edit the .git/config files. Inside of your root directory for the repo, type mate .git/config to open the file. It will look something like this, but under [remote "heroku"] you will change the url from to (or whatever you’re calling your different accounts).

     repositoryformatversion = 0
     filemode = true
     bare = false
     logallrefupdates = true
     ignorecase = true
    [branch "master"]
    [remote "heroku"]
     url =
     fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/heroku/*
    [remote "origin"]
     url =
     fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*

    Tell Heroku which keys to use

    In Terminal, navigate to the root directory for the repo and heroku login to the account associated with that repo. You’ll need to tell heroku what key to use with that account.

    heroku keys:add ~/.ssh/

    Repeat for other repos you have associated with that account. Then navigate to the root of a repo with a different account, make sure to now heroku login with your other account login information. Repeat the steps for adding the keys to this account (only add the other account, ie, identity.heroku.personal).

    So many keys, so much fun. If you are like me and had made a hot mess of keys, it may be useful to list your keys (in heroku and on your computer), see what’s going on and clean up. Now I have one key that github uses and two keys for my two Heroku accounts and things are running much more smoothly.


    1. Heroku Accounts plugin Github
    2. Multiple Heroku Accounts Stackoverflow Answer
    3. Keys in Heroku Dev
  11. Your own Instagram Feed

    I  know Instagram’s just come out with web profiles, but they’re not on my page and they’re not in circles. So quick and dirty (it took longer to write this post, see note on code) I put up my photos, here, and in circles. Some weeks ago I started using an (which is so, so awesome) recipe that sends my Instagram photos (dates and captions as well) to a Google Spreadsheet. I’m all about Google Spreadsheets. The same spreadsheet powers the Instagram portion on my dashboard page.

    The Parts

    I use tabletop.js to get my spreadsheet data into usable json. Once I’ve got that data, I tell mustache.js to take it, format each piece (I’m using just the url for the Instagram photo) into a div and then place all of those divs into the holder waiting patiently for it in my html. I use CSS to format it into circles.

    The Code

    Don’t even get me started on trying to format code snippets in WordPress. Ugh. So, sorry there are no indents right now.

    The HTML/CSS

    <!-- just showing the important parts, you'll obvs have a few more things on your page -->
    <!-- load in tabletop and mustache -->
    <script src="/wp-content/themes/Starkers/tabletop.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
    <script src="/wp-content/themes/Starkers/ICanHaz.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
    /* confine your image to a circle */
    .instaImgCirc img {border-radius: 1000px;}
    <!-- this dude waits patiently to be filled with stuff -->
    <div id="instagram"></div>

    The JS

    <script id="instagram" type="text/html">
    <div class="instaImgCirc"><img src="{{instasource}}" width="100%"/></div>
    <script type="text/javascript">
    // Your spreadsheets URL
    var URL='';
    function loadSpreadsheet() {
    // let's get this party started
    Tabletop.init( { key: URL, callback: showData, simpleSheet: true } ) }
    // use this if you want to use a specific number of your most recent Instagrams
    function getLast(array, howMany) {
    start = array.length cut = start - howMany
    if (start < 20) {
    return array
    } else {
    array = array.splice(cut) return array.reverse()
    document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function() {
    loadSpreadsheet() })
    showData = function(data) {
    var instagram = ich.instagram({
    "rows": getLast(data, 12)
    // use "rows": data.reverse() if you want to use all the Instagrams in your spreadsheet
    document.getElementById('instagram').innerHTML = instagram;

    Later Ons

    I’d like have my captions appear when hovering over the image and to cue up, say, just 20 photos at a time and have new photos automatically appear without refresh. Perhaps this will happen on the 12 hour plane ride I have tomorrow.


  12. WordPress on Heroku and S3

    The other week I moved two WordPress sites to Heroku and their media uploads to S3. How happy it’s made me!

    For the first I used this tutorial, which sets up WordPress with PostgreSQL using this Github repo - but then I moved the other site (this one!) with this tutorial and used  the new-ish on Heroku ClearDB for mySQL. I used the tantan-s3 Wordpress plugin to connect to a bucket on my S3 account. And BAM.

    A couple of notes:

    • If you’re using the second tutorial, on step 8, I changed the database creds in my wp-config.php file (not wp-admin.php).
    • You won’t be able to update WordPress, add themes or plugins from within the CMS when hosting on Heroku. But it’s not hard, you’ll just add the files/folders to your set of WordPress files and re-push them to Heroku.

    Multiple SSH Keys

    Unfortunately, it turned out to be a hot mess for me because the first site is a project for work, so it’s on a work Heroku account, the second is this site, my site, so it’s on my personal Heroku account. Actively working on both and needing different SSH keys is a pain. If you run into this, here’s what I’m doing – it’s a bit of a pain so suggestions, please. First, add a new key. Then, when you’re trying to push and it tells you:

    !  Your key with fingerprint blahblahblah is not authorized to access blahblah

    Remove that key and add the one your stored earlier.

    ssh-add -d && ssh-add ~/.ssh/heroku_rsa

    DNS and Done

    Pointing your domain to the site is easy, too. Heroku has the steps here. Then you’re done.


    1. WordPress on Heroku in 2mins video
    2. WordPress Heroku Github Repo by mhoofman
    3. Migrating WordPress Blog to Heroku by Pardner Wynn
    4. Custom Domains on Heroku
  13. Hi!

    Hello, world!

    I’m currently building up this site in spare chunks of time as I finish up my Code for America Fellowship. Concentrating first on work samples and last on blog entries. But! I’m really excited to finally get myself one place to put up code snippets and thoughts about urban environments. Stay tuned for updates in the near-ish future. The Code for America fellowship ends November 15th!


Blog Life

Me: on urban design, cities and web dev.

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handmade by jessica lord 2012