Mr. JMP, Bubbles and the Wandering Cheetahs

Despite the title, this is not the new show in Las Vegas. John Sall is Mr. JMP . In fact, it is said behind his back that JMP actually stands for John’s Macintosh Project, this being the product SAS started about the time that they made the move away from running SAS on Mac OS and forced everyone to run out and buy VMware or Parallels unless they wanted to start running their statistics on Excel or with a slate and flat rock, which is pretty much the same thing.

I met John Sall and he was incredibly nice and talked to me about structural equation modeling for a while and recommended two people whose presentations I should attend who he said would know more about it than him. I went to one of them, by Yui-Fai Yung and John was right, it was awesome.  I did not think it was possible to do a simple straight-forward presentation on SEM.

The other person was Wayne Watson, who everyone has mentioned. He’s presenting tomorrow.

It wasn’t until hours later that I realized that this nice man is worth about a billion dollars and could afford to buy my children. Well, not my children – despite their annoying faults, which are legion, I am actually quite fond of them.- but probably somebody’s children.

I had ignored JMP 9 when it came out because I figured it was pretty much the same thing as JMP 8 with a different digit at the end, that being the case with most new versions of software.

I was wrong.

Three cool things about JMP in JMP 9 (and thank you to the amazingly helpful Eric from JMP for demonstrating them all for me).

The amazingly Eric from JMP in case you wondered what he looks like.

  1. JMP now integrates with R so if you want to analyze your data in R, put it into some format, say factor scores or whatever floats your boat, and then pass it back to JMP without ever having to take the 42 seconds for your virtual machine to start up and run SAS, then you can, allowing you more time to drink Chardonnay and eat jelly beans.
  2. There is now a map option under graph builder. This was actually something that was way more interesting to me than R because I had actually said to myself last week how useful it would be if JMP had a map option as that was the only reason I needed to use SAS for a presentation I was doing. Now JMP has a map option.  If you are looking at your good old graph builder window, in the bottom left corner, you now have an option that says SHAPE. Drag a variable, say STATE to that corner and you can create a map. (See example below of a heat map of movie data that it took Eric a few seconds to create. A few seconds is the kind of response time I’m talking about, because I have the attention span of an ant and the patience of  two-year-old.)
  3. A really, really cool example of the use of the new mapping feature was given by Eric using a cheetah. He had gotten the cheetah data from an organization doing research on endangered species. I include this information on the off-chance that you should find yourself asking, “Where can I get information on cheetah movements?” The answer is that you should ask Eric from JMP to hook you up. His cheetah data included the latitude and longitude of a specific cheetah, we’ll call him Bob the Cheetah,  on specific dates. Using these data, he could create a bubble plot that showed the cheetah location over time. Since a plot of this with just an X axis and Y axis is kind of boring, he overlaid it on a map thus allowing him in just a few seconds to produce an animated bubble plot that showed the movement on a map of his endangered cheetah over a period of time. He mentioned this to someone else, who contacted the organization which then provided that person the data on FIVE cheetahs. This unnamed JMP person is doing a presentation at SAS Global Forum showing the movements across time of five cheetahs. Eric seemed a bit put out about having been exceeded in the cheetah data realm. So, if you contact the same organization and they give you data on ten cheetahs to put on your JMP bubble plot/ map, I recommend you don’t tell him.

This is a picture of the movie map. The moving cheetah one was cooler but I did not have the data to create the animation nor do I have JMP 9.

(Note to self: find client who loves me enough to buy me JMP 9)

I guess if this was more of a full service blog I would have taken a video of it.

Oh well.

The fourth thing with JMP that everyone has been talking about is the SEM interface. What Mr. JMP a.k.a. John Sall did tell me is that it was an interface to the SAS CALIS procedure, which both makes sense and makes me happier about it, since CALIS is a fairly well-documented and tested procedure.

Speaking of CALIS, the presentation I went to today by Dr. Yung absolutely rocked. I’ll write more about it tomorrow but my hot tip is if you are interested in not just SEM but other stuff that CALIS can do like FIML (full information maximum likelihood) for regression, you should download his paper as soon as the SAS Global Forum 11 proceedings are out.

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One Comment

  1. AnnMaria,

    While I love being referred to as “amazing” (and I have forwarded a link to my wife as further evidence for my side in an on-going debate), the folks who made my demo look amazing are Xan Gregg and John Ponte, two of my fellow JMP developers who made Graph Builder and the background maps feature possible.

    Take care,


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