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Designed by Kalbod Design Studio, the Toronto Media and Innovation Center, located in the district-based developed city of Toronto, is strategically sited next to comparable cultural and entertainment-based districts in order to establish a functional and physical link with the existing structures.

By addressing social resiliency in this area, the project is designed to become a suitable place for everyone, providing an exciting space for learning, practicing, performing, and exploring. To ensure this concept will extend to the form of the buildings and evoke a sense of curiosity, they are designed organically to become an eyecatcher among the cube-shaped neighboring buildings.

Inspired by the cross sections of nationally loved maple trees, the buildings take organic forms with open and green spaces on the upper levels mimicking the dark spots visible on cross sections of dead maple trees. These shapes get reduced by the size as they get closer to the sea surface where they will be placed on bearing pilots reaching deep into the water.

To seek out a solution for emerging natural disasters like the drastic rise of sea levels or massive floods, the buildings are piloted high above the water to resemble the nearby trees floating on the surface of the water giving it a sense of lightness while providing safety in time of need. Also, there are two different types of access routes designed for these buildings on two levels, one is deep in the ground and reaches the buildings from below providing quick access to the city’s public transport like metro stations, while the other one is located 15 meters high above the body of water giving access to the buildings from above.

These two routes both are designed and specialized for bicycles and pedestrians, they not just provide safety during a natural disaster but also create a shelter from the cold and windy weather of the northern seashores.

Toronto Media district consists of four different zones each hosting 3-6 separate buildings, working together to create a calm and suitable place for artists, citizens, visitors, and also workers. The innovation zones include the Educational and Recording/Performing zones which are located next to each other, having some shared spaces in between to be able to work and connect more easily while the cultural and entertainment zones are considerably distanced from them to be more distinguished from them, providing a sense of privacy for the innovation zones.

The location of each zone is precisely chosen to require the shortest possible routes to connect the buildings to each other while having enough open spaces between them to provide a safe route for maritime transportation, from massive ships to cruising boats.

The building’s shapes and the choice of Bio-Based materials have shaped water resistance massive forms which will survive strong floods and continue to function in higher levels of the sea surface. Unlike most buildings founded in water. With bio-based materials, organic forms, and structural solutions, these buildings are shaped and designed to create a better connection between architecture, technology, and nature.

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Introduction To Windows 7 Media Center

I decided to write this article because, there are still many people that don’t realize that if they are using Windows 7 Home Premium, Ultimate, Professional or Enterprise, they don’t just have the most powerful operating system today, but they also have Windows 7 Media Center (MCE), and this feature in Windows is frequently ignore. Media Center is a powerful piece of Microsoft software, very stable, that enables you to convert your computer screen or TV into an entertainment hub; where you are able to stream and enjoy, in a whole different way, your music, videos, movies, watch and record live TV (With the addition of TV tuner cards), Internet TV for free, Netflix; etc.

With Windows Media Center you can:

Watch and record TV shows in either over the air HD, Digital with CableCARD; or standard antenna, cable or satellite signal, although satellite could be a little challenging to configure.

Burn your recording to a DVD or transfer them to a compatible potable media player.

New TV guide integrates broadcast TV plus Internet TV, all in one Place.

Setup Parental control to help you to control what your children watch.

Pause and resume live TV shows and also Windows Media Center allows you to fast-forwarding through commercials of recorded shows.

Sport Channel: Full sports coverage, previews, highlights, interviews, analysis , follow your favorites players, and more.

Watch Internet TV: This a new feature in Windows Media Center that delivers a lot of entertainment over the internet for free. There are a lot of full length TV shows that you can watch; as well as video podcasts, thanks to the Zune market place.

If you have Netflix member ship, you can order your DVD’s with the remote control and stream a wide variety of movies and TV shows.

Play DVD or Blu-Ray movies. (Additional hardware and/or software may be required for Blu-Ray).

Easily rip your own audio CD’s and save your favorites tunes in the MCE library. You can crate playlists and also play music that you already have in your computer or other computers around the house. You don’t know what to play? Both music and pictures categories now have a “Play Favorites” that learns from items played in the past.

Turbo Scroll: It would be pretty difficult to sort through thousands of items; press and hold the left or right arrow in your remote and titles will start flying by, until you see a blur, and letters will start to appearing as clues to let you know when might be time to stop. This works for music, pictures, and TV guide.

Browse media while watching TV or doing other tasks.

Use your computer as a remote control: Now you can stream from media player 12 audio or video to Windows 7 Media Center.

Play FM radio if your tuner is capable.

On the go: Sync audio, video, pictures and TV recording to a compatible portable media player or compatible phones.

Play audio, video or pictures from external storage, compatible portable media player or compatible phones.

Show off your vacation pictures using MCE. Create slide shows of your favorites photos and share them with friends and family; sitting in your living room couch while playing music.

Slide Show Screen Saver: When you are not using Windows 7 Media Center, your TV will be converted into a giant picture frame, from the collection of pictures in your library.

Play Windows games.

Enjoy recorded TV shows, music, video; even when it’s not stored on your PC. The new HomeGroup feature makes media available to any PC running Windows 7 in the house.

Extender for Windows Media Center: An extender is a device that allows you to stream your Windows Media Center content, wired or wirelessly, from your PC or laptop to a TV screen. There are devices in the market that allows you to do this, but if you have an Xbox 360 you already have it. When you are using extender you can pause whatever you are watching and resume where you left of in another room.

Install plugins: These are applications that could be either from Microsoft or a third party software company. They will add more functionality to your Windows Media Center.

Microsoft has improved Media Center in a whole new level with its new features.

To see if you have Media Center:

2- In the search box type “Windows Media Center”, if the green Windows’ logo appear in the list, you have it and is waiting for you to start using it.


There are many devices in the market that are capable to work as a media center, like Apple TV and Tivo to name a couple. In my opinion both, Apple TV and Tivo, lack of features in comparison; most of them can be found in Media Center. Remember that when you get Tivo, you also need to pay a monthly subscription feed; which is not the case when using Media Center. Once you give it a try, you will be hooked, Windows 7 Media Center is an excellent media hub and great DVR solution.

3 Great Media Center Solutions For Linux

Despite the fact that set top boxes and devices like Chromecast are becoming popular, media center software is still around, especially on Linux. If you have a lot of local media, and you’re looking for a solution, you should consider an appliance-based solution (like a Kodi or Stremio box) rather than an always-on media server solution for your network.

Why choose a local media center tool rather than something like Plex? Simple: ease of use. It’s much easier to install Kodi, Stremio or OSMC and plug in a couple of hard drives and go. There is significantly less know-how required when you go this route in contrast to building a dedicated server and configuring it.

What’s the best media solution for Linux?

1. Kodi (formerly known as XBMC)

This is the most popular media center solution on Linux. Previously, it was known as Xbox Media Center but  was then re-branded as Kodi. It supports a multitude of operating systems, not just Linux. Kodi supports local playback of audio and video in a fullscreen application.

Kodi can organize your media library and does it quite well. It organizes your media in three parts: Movies, TV Shows and Music. Mainstream video formats are supported. It can play back your music library in several different codecs: AAC, MP3, FLAC, OGG, WAV and WMA.

Along with local media playback, there is live television support (personal video recorders and popular TV backends like MythTV), support for add-on applications (like Netflix), universal plug-in play, pandora support and even podcasts. If you can think of it, Kodi probably has an application for it.

What’s compelling about this media software, and why you’d maybe want to switch to it, is the fact that you can use it anywhere. It’s great as a local media client or even a remote one. For just about every situation, Kodi just works. The bottom line: this is the standard that competing media center tools have been striving to get to. Kodi does everything, and it does it well.

Here’s a list of features.

Add-on support

Live TV support (including PVR, MythTV, etc.)

Customization (via skins)

Universal plug-and-play

Remote control support

Web interface

Pandora support

Podcast support

Hulu, Netflix and YouTube support

Support for all major video and audio codecs

Mobile app

Linux distribution

with Kodi pre-configured as the desktop environment

Kodi is the most well-supported media center currently available on Linux. It has tons of features and is always being improved and updated. If you’re looking to build a decent media box, this is the one to go to first.

2. Stremio

Stremio is a full-featured media center tool available for Linux and other platforms as well. It comes packed with tons of features and can manage media quite well. Stremio supports managing media files via local drives as well as importing from Facebook.

When you use this media center tool, you’re not just getting a fancy video playback application. You’re getting an entire environment complete with features and settings you’d expect from something similar to that of a box you can buy in a store. Here’s a list of the features you can expect out of Stremio:

YouTube support

Chromecast-like casting via DLNA

Live TV via Filmon TV

Netflix support

Hulu support

Mobile app support

Amazon streaming support

Premium content available via Cinema

Peer-to-peer streaming support

Add-on functionality

Ability to add music to your library via local drives, Facebook, etc.

Automatic subtitles


As far as media center software goes, OSMC claims to be one of the lightest ones. OSMC is based upon the Kodi media center, so the technology is largely the same, with some additions. The main reason Open Source Media Center is a viable option is that it works to make media centers more accessible and user-friendly.

Here’s a list of compelling features:

Constantly updated


App support via an App store

Remote control support

Sorts media based on Movies, TV Shows and Music categories

Photo support

Support for all major video and audio codecs

Based on Kodi, so some features included with Kodi may carry over

If you’ve tried Kodi and determined that you don’t like the way it works or are just are looking to find something lighter and easier, Open Source Media Center is a great choice.


Media centers are getting to the point where they’re just as powerful as Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV that you’d buy in your local technology shop. If what you want is to build your own local media solution, one that would rival commercial solutions, each of the options on this list will be more than sufficient.

What media center solution have you built your media appliance on? Tell us below!

Image Credits: Softpedia, Google Play, Home Theater Life

Derrik Diener

Derrik Diener is a freelance technology blogger.

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A Look Inside The Design Center Where Hot Wheels Creates Its Timeless Toy Cars

The company launched its first set of cars—now dubbed the Sweet Sixteen—in 1968. Since then the brand has grown to become a legitimate toy empire, boasting not only sales that are measured in billions of units but also lending its unique designs and aesthetic to video games, apparel lines, and even high-end collector items. “A good example of that is the Gucci car,” says Ted Wu, Hot Wheels’ VP of design. “They came to us for their 100th anniversary and asked if we could create a Hot Wheels car out of the 1982 Gucci Cadillac Seville.” Even at a retail price as lofty as $120, the demand for the collectible was so great that Gucci’s global web servers immediately crashed when the toy went on sale.

Hot Wheels also turned fantasy into reality when they built the first life-sized version of the Twin Mill, one of the brand’s most beloved diecast creations. Its name is a reference to the two supercharged Chevrolet big-block V8s that power the Speed Racer-esque coupe. The combination dishes out upwards of 1,400 horsepower in the fully functional custom one-off machine that followed the original tiny version, though that power and style does admittedly come at the cost of your ability to see anything in front of you when behind the wheel. 

Over the past two decades Hot Wheels has produced a steady succession of life-sized versions of their custom toy cars, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand they also created the Hot Wheels Legends Tour back in 2023, a global initiative that takes this relationship between toys and real-world cars a step further. The initiative gives enthusiasts’ builds a chance to be judged for a shot at the Legends Tour grand prize: Having their car turned into a 1:64 scale Hot Wheels diecast model. “At first it was basically a local show,” says Wu. “But over the years it has expanded to five different continents and sixteen different countries, and hundreds of thousands of people have submitted their cars to be a part of it.” 

On the day before the 2023 Legends Tour made its stop at Mattel’s headquarters in El Segundo, California, the folks at Hot Wheels gave PopSci a chance to check out their design center to see how these iconic toy cars go from concept to reality. While it might be easy to assume that creating models is a relatively low-tech affair, the reality is that the company uses some sophisticated engineering to ensure that their products continue to meet the standard that was set 54 years ago. 

The full-sized, drivable version of the Twin Mill was built in 2001. The original Twin Mill diecast toy was made in 1969. Bradley Iger

Laying the groundwork 

The earliest iterations of new Hot Wheels cars start as sketches that are not unlike what you’d find in the design studios of major automakers. But while a car company’s sketches typically capture the general look of a design before it’s toned down in the name of production feasibility, safety, and other factors, Hot Wheels design sketches are more focused on plotting out the elements of a car that define its overall vibe and adjusting the proportions to work at 1:64 scale. That task is relatively straightforward when you’re designing a custom diecast car like the Twin Mill from scratch, but the situation gets more complicated when the Hot Wheels design team is creating something based on an existing automobile. 

“If you took a life-sized car and just shrunk it down the wheels would look too small, the roof would look too big, and a lot of the important details would be lost,” says Hot Wheels designer Brendon Vetuskey. “We have to exaggerate and adjust those details so that when you look at the car in 1:64th scale, it still looks good. You have to finesse the proportions and the characteristics of the car to make it look right at that size.”

A look at the process. Bradley Iger

Vetuskey uses 2023 Legends Tour winner Riley Stair’s 1970 Pontiac Trans Am as an example. “We had some modeling files of another Trans Am and modified those based on the details that are unique to this car. Things like the open engine bay, the side-exiting exhaust pipes, and the extended fender flares were applied to that model and adjusted so the proportions would make sense at 1:64th scale.” 

For the Hot Wheels design team, it often comes down to identifying the elements that give the car its visual personality—the things that make a car look cool—and emphasizing those elements while potentially sacrificing less-important details due to the limitations of diecast manufacturing. 

They look cool, and they never need an oil change. Bradley Iger

From there the design is handed over to a computer-aided design (CAD) modeler who further sculpts it using the Geomagic Touch X, a tool which was originally developed to train surgeons in medical schools. The tool’s pen offers haptic feedback that allows the modeler to run along the surfaces of the model in virtual space in much the same way that clay models are refined in the real world, but the software can also indicate where the design’s components would overlap or need tweaking in some other way. And unlike clay, these CAD files can be sent straight to the prototyping team once the design has been finalized. 

“A lot of us here are traditional sculptors, so this makes the transition from analog to digital much more natural,” says Hot Wheels modeler and designer Manson Cheung, who demonstrates the software using the CAD model for the 2023 Hot Wheels Legends Tour-winning 1969 Volvo P1800 Gasser. “Most of the time I will work with a solid car and then the designer will sketch out how they want to part out the components for manufacturing. But since I was the sculptor and the designer for this one, I parted that out myself. For me it makes it easier to visualize how I want to do it and execute that.” 

[Related: A week behind the wheel of the most powerful muscle car you can buy]

Cheung notes that there are occasions when manufacturing will come back with design revisions that are required in order to put that model into production, and the reasons can range from production efficiencies to safety concerns. “For instance, I initially designed this front grille differently, but during pull and crush testing they discovered that the design compromised the strength of the body too much. We decided to use a design that separates the grille from the body to correct that, and it made the piece much stronger.” 

Once a CAD model becomes a candidate for production, it’s sent to Mattel’s on-site 3D printing lab so a physical rendition can be produced, a technology that the company has been using for more than three decades to create prototypes of various products. Although they’re not as refined and detailed as a production version would be, these polymer analogues provide the design team with a better sense of what the manufactured toy will look like in the real world.

Serious work: This is the track testing lab. Bradley Iger

Track testing 

In the spirit of Hot Wheels’ original edict, all new car designs go through a range of track tests to ensure compatibility. While this might just sound like an excuse to launch Hot Wheels off of giant ramps—and hey, who are we to judge—the tests are necessary to vet the good designs from the bad ones. “Beyond just looking cool, the cars need to be functional on these tracks, and they’re all different shapes and sizes,” says Vetuskey. 

The company not only makes a wide array of track set designs, they also produce different types of car-launching mechanisms, and a would-be production car needs to be able to reliably perform with all of them. And that means there are times when a sharp design might need to be sent back to the drawing board so that the team can produce a car that plays as good as it looks. 

With the less-than-flat transitions between pieces of track and the steep incline angles of the loops in the sets, low-hanging elements of the car can potentially catch on track features and reduce its momentum. “So it’s important to limit the amount of overhang in front of the front wheels and behind the rear wheels. If it’s too long and flat, the car physically won’t be able to go through the radius of a loop because it’ll just get hung up at the ends of the car,” Vetuskey says. Testers are also on the lookout for parts protruding from the sides of the car that could get snagged on the walls of the track. High speed cameras record the launches and the cars’ progress down the tracks so that any potential issues in a design can be easily identified during slow-motion playback.

The work in the track testing lab validates the track capability of new car designs. High-speed cameras record the runs at roughly 30,000 frames per second, which allows designers to look back at the footage in slow motion and identify any potential issues with a design. Cars with bodywork that causes instability or inconsistent track performance get sent back for tweaking. Bradley Iger

Hot Wheels track designer Paul Schmid points out that when testing new track sets and launcher designs, the team also has to consider who the end user is. “Adults have the motor skills required to understand if they need to hit something a little bit harder or a little less to get the result that they want, but kids can’t do that as well.” To get a better sense of the results that children would see when using the launchers and track sets, the team created a custom jig that replicates the force applied by kids of various ages. “We can set that to replicate the slam force of a 3-year-old, or the average force that a 4-year-old uses, and so on.” 

The cars are small, and so are their parts. Bradley Iger

Getting it on the shelves

Before finalized designs are sent off for mass production, they also need new retail packaging design to go along with the new car. The team does approximately 400 unique designs for new models each year, and as Hot Wheels lead packaging designer Matt Gabe notes, a good design should catch your eye while also being thematically consistent with the type of car it’s housing. 

“Themed assortments are where I get to have the most fun,” Gabe says. “For instance, a few years ago we did this pack for Walmart called Cool Convertibles. With a pack like that, after the powers that be have decided what cars should be included in a collection, the design team will pick out the colors and other elements, and then it’s sent to me.” 

[Related: McLaren’s newest supercar will have your hair blowing in the wind in 11 seconds]

Gabe tells us that he’ll work a few different sketches and concepts for this type of project. In the case of Cool Convertibles the theme was coastline driving, but nailing down the artwork style was a collaborative process: One packaging design concept he created was like a linoleum print, one was like vintage poster, another was more photo-realistic, and another one was like contemporary modern art, by his estimation. “I worked those up and delivered it to our marketing team—they make the decision about which design to go with.” 

Art related to a “Cool Convertibles” series. Bradley Iger

Ten cars were part of the Cool Convertibles series in total, and Gabe created the three different backgrounds that were used in the series. The artwork for other series like Hot Wheels Stars and Stripes might seem abstract at first glance, but when the packages are lined up alongside one another, the set’s artwork actually fits together like puzzle pieces to create one larger design. It’s a nice surprise that also incentivizes completing the set. 

In an era filled with high-tech distractions for kids and adults alike, the fact that a company that is built around a half-century-old concept is currently enjoying its fifth consecutive year of record sales feels like a stunning achievement. And even as Hot Wheels expands its reach into unlikely avenues like high-end watches and NFTs, it’s reassuring to know that the company is still keenly focused on the fundamentals: Making cool toy cars that are fun to play with.

Genius Is One Percent Innovation

Genius Is One Percent Innovation BU classroom stars share teaching strategies today

Video games are great teachers, a presenter will tell attendees at today’s Instructional Innovation Conference. Photo by Steve Ryan

“More and more commonly, students irritate their instructors by playing video games on their laptops instead of paying attention in class. Who wants to listen to a boring lecture when a more entertaining experience awaits?”

Candid words in a paper by postgraduate Nicholas Carlo DiDonato (GRS’16), who proposes that professors counter with a time-tested strategy: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. “While class will never be as entertaining as a video game,” DiDonato says, “instructors can still learn important pedagogical lessons from video games.” As a teaching assistant at a New Jersey prep school, he tried to copy video games’ mesmerizing power in his classroom instruction by adopting the mindset of the gizmos’ designers and fans—and he suggests BU professors do the same.

His is one of almost three dozen presentations at the third annual Instructional Innovation Conference, being held today at the Metcalf Trustee Center. Run by the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching, the conference showcases strategies for impassioning students about learning. This year’s features presentations from professors and teaching assistants across the University.

The conference drew 141 attendees the first year and 94 last year. “Anecdotally, people have told me that they have gotten many ideas from the conference that have sparked new thinking about their own courses,” says center director Janelle Heineke, a School of Management professor. “It’s intended to be an opportunity to share with colleagues.”

So how do you make a classroom as absorbing as a video game? DiDonato offers three suggestions: first, by requiring students’ classroom presentations to build on previous ones by their peers, and by using the content of those presentations in exam questions. Students thereby have an active part in scripting the class, just as video games allow them to script add-on features to games.

Second, professors can reward class participation, just as video technology rewards repeated game-play by making successful players more powerful in each round. A professor can gradually expand students’ choice of assignments as the semester progresses, ultimately lessening the assignment load at the end for students who successfully complete initial assignments. Finally, video games addict players partly by offering various choices and outcomes, coaxing people to play again and again. DiDonato suggests that professors can do the same by supplementing mandatory readings with a weekly menu of choices that students could sample, in any way, throughout the semester.

The students evaluate their choices in light of potential curve balls (a sudden illness preventing a parent from working, for example). A class-wide debriefing plumbs the challenges and frustrations each team encounters. As with DiDonato’s approach, the students are given choices—“the exercise is flexible and there is no right answer,” Feinberg and Donahue write in their conference paper. “Students are required to think critically as they make decisions that make sense for their family.”

Amelie Rorty’s presentation will highlight the benefits of working in teams. The College of Art & Sciences visiting professor of philosophy will explain an experiment she undertook in her Theories of Political Society course. Students were divided into four teams, and Rorty deliberately assigned all the women to the same team, instructing each team to write a paper on one of the philosophers studied in the class. (Part of the goal was finding any gender difference in how men and women perceived collaboration.)She exhorted the students to write the paper together, rather than have team members pen individual sections and cobble them together.

Rorty graded the papers blindly, without checking which team wrote a paper, she says. Later, she found that she’d given an A, the highest grade among the groups, to the female team, which had met frequently and collaborated in the writing. The lowest grade, a B minus, went to the team that disregarded her suggestion and farmed out each section of its paper to individual writers. Regardless of their grade, the students said they enjoyed the experiment, she says, learning that “the process of active collaboration deepened their thinking and improved their writing.” She plans to repeat the experiment in all her courses.

She cheerfully concedes the subjectivity involved in the experiment; another professor might have graded differently—and “isn’t that what we might expect?”

Rich Barlow can be reached at [email protected].

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Google Looker Studio Tutorial (Ex Data Studio) 2023

Want to convert your data into a format that allows you to gain informative, easy-to-read, and easy-to-share insights on your business?

Google Looker Studio, formerly Google Data Studio, is a data visualization platform that allows you to connect, visualize, and share your data story.

Turn your analytics data into easy-to-understand reports for free with Looker Studio.

In this Google Looker Studio tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a dashboard that visualizes traffic data.

We’ll cover the basics, which include connecting to your data and creating charts from Looker Studio’s arsenal.

We’ll also look at tips that will help you get started to become a pro-Looker Studio user.

Here is an overview of what we’ll cover in this Google Looker Studio tutorial:

Let’s get started!

How to Start Building a Dashboard

For this Google Looker Studio tutorial, we’ll be working towards recreating the following dashboard:

This dashboard is a simplified version of the following dashboard which we’ll discuss in more detail later on.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a website because everything we’ll cover will apply to any kind of data you have.

To start, log in to your Gmail account and head to chúng tôi In Looker Studio, there are multiple ways to start building a dashboard.

The first method is to start with a template from the Template Gallery.

We’ll be creating a dashboard from scratch in this Google Looker Studio tutorial, so we’ll select Create → Report.

Alternatively, you could also select Blank Report with the + sign thumbnail from the list of templates in the Template Gallery.

From here, we’ll send our data to Looker Studio with the help of Connectors. You can pull data from 1000+ data sets with the use of over 730 connectors available (as of the time of this article).

💡 Top Tip: See the list of all available connections by going to the Looker Studio Connector Gallery.

In our window, we can easily see the list of connectors starting with the Google Connectors at the top, followed by the Partner Connectors.

Here you can connect to various other tools in Google’s platform, like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Sheets, BigQuery, and more.

🚨 Note: If your dashboards are using UA, you might want to consider migrating Looker Studio dashboards data from UA to GA4.

For this Google Looker Studio tutorial, our data is in Google Sheets, so we’ll use the Google Sheets connector.

🚨 Note: If you would like to follow along with our Google Looker Studio tutorial, you can go ahead and copy our dataset to verify if you’re doing the steps correctly.

Great! We have successfully added our data to Looker Studio.

From here, we’ll see a default table which is Looker Studio’s way of showing you that it has pulled data from your data source successfully.

Now, let’s explore the interface a bit.

Adding Charts to a Dashboard

When building a dashboard, we’ll utilize various visualization types that Looker Studio collectively calls charts.

Here, we have all the common types like Tables, Scorecards, Time series, Bar charts, Pie charts, Geo charts, and more.

Next, let’s change how our dashboard looks by opening the Theme and Layout pane.

Going to the Themes tab, we are presented with a list of themes that offer different default colors for your background, text, and charts.

For example, if we select the Constellation theme, you’ll see the background change to a dark gray.

For this Google Looker Studio tutorial, we’ll use the Edge theme.

Next, we’ll increase the size of our dashboard so that we have more space to play with our data. 

Now, let’s look at how to build and modify a chart.

Start with creating a Table.

Next, pay attention to the two columns on the right side of the screen.

Let’s start with discussing the properties panel. Since we currently selected a table, you’ll see that we have the Chart as the title.

Our properties panel is usually divided further into the Setup and Style tabs. The setup tab is where to build the chart – what data is displayed, while the style tab is where we format the chart.

Next, we also have the Data panel.

The Data panel is where you can access data from your data source. It is organized into dimensions, metrics, and other types of data.

Dimensions are attributes of your data. Think of categories, colors, or anything that is in text form. You can easily distinguish different data types by looking at the icon next to them.

Looking at the browsers our visitors were using to get to our website, you’ll see that it has an icon that says ABC. This is how you know your data is a dimension.

On the other hand, metrics are the data that you can use for your calculations. These are usually the data that have numbers.

If we look at the revenue, you’ll see that metrics have a 123 icon.

Other data types include geolocation with a globe icon, dates with a calendar icon, and links with a chain icon.

In our dataset, examples of each are the Country, Date, and Landing page, respectively.

Next, let’s learn how we can modify the data in this table.

If we wanted to see the number of total users by city, we need to replace the session source/medium dimension and record count metric.

A helpful tip in finding the data you want to add to your chart, especially if you’re working with a large dataset, is by using the search bar at the top of the data panel.

To demonstrate, let’s search for the total users.

This opens a mini data panel where we can search for or select the data we want to display directly.

Great! Let’s delete this chart for now and move on to recreating the dashboard we showed earlier.

Adding Scorecards to a Dashboard

Looking at the reference dashboard for this Google Looker Studio tutorial, we have a banner on top with a group of scorecards.

Scorecards are like snapshots of your key performance indicators or KPIs. You usually use them when you want to highlight a specific metric.

To start, let’s create the banner.

Next, we’ll get to adding the Scorecards to our dashboard.

First, let’s replace the metric displayed with the Total users. You can use any of the methods we showed earlier.

Now, we need to change the format of our scorecard to fix this contrast issue.

Changes to what we want to be displayed are done in the setup tab, while changes to how they are displayed are done in the style tab.

Go to the Background and Border section in the Style tab and change the background color to Transparent.

Great! Our background is gone. However, we can’t see the numbers because both the banner and text color are dark.

To fix this, go to the Labels section and change the font color to white.

Great! Now, rather than rebuilding all these scorecards one by one, try this little trick.

Doing this allows you to retain the formatting we changed in the style tab, and you only need to change the metric displayed in the setup tab.

Alternatively, you can also utilize the copy-paste functionality using your keyboard.

Since we have 4 scorecards on our banner, let’s select the two scorecards we have so far by holding down the CTRL key, then copy and paste them using the keyboard shortcuts.

Let’s move on to the next section of our Google Looker Studio tutorial.

How to View the Number of Website Visitors

The first section of our dashboard mainly has a scorecard showing the number of website visitors and a line graph showing the trends in the number of users per month.

The big number displayed is just another scorecard, but with a few more tweaks than what we made earlier.

Start another scorecard with the Total users metric.

Lastly, if you started with a new scorecard, set the background color to Transparent.

Next, let’s add our line chart. While we have a section for line charts in the list of available charts, we’ll be using a Time series chart since we’ll be looking at trends per month.

Stretch the chart a bit to cover a decent portion of our dashboard, then make the lines a bit heavier. Set the line weight to about 5, and change the series color to black.

Next, we also want to remove the grid lines and the background.

Go to the Grid section and change the grid color to Transparent.

For the background, try and test if you can remove it on your own. Don’t worry if you need to go back to the previous section of our Google Looker Studio tutorial! (Hint: Look at the section names.)

To complete this section, let’s put a section header by adding Text.

Add the text “How many users visited our website?” in all caps, then increase the font size to 20px, and bold the text.

You can reorder, resize, reformat, or reposition the charts that we have so far, but at this point, we can see that we have successfully recreated the first section of our reference dashboard.

Now, let’s move on to the second section.

Here, we have a bar chart showing the top 5 cities that bring the most visitors to our website, along with a geo chart highlighting the number of users per country.

Bar and geo chart in the second section of the reference dashboard

Let’s start by inserting the Bar Chart.

Insert this bar chart at the bottom of our scorecard. Set the dimension to City and the metric to Total users.

Next, remove the background and gridlines, which we are confident that you can do at this point in our Google Looker Studio tutorial.

Next, we’ll reduce the number of bars shown in our chart because we are only interested in showing the top 5 cities.

To do this, go to the Bar chart section and change the number of bars to 5. Next, change the color in the Color bar section to black.

Great! Now, we could start building our geo chart from scratch, but we’ll show you another trick you can use. 

Select the geo chart and watch Looker Studio’s magic in how it easily transforms your data.

Now, let’s change the color settings of our geo chart.

Set the maximum color value to black, and the minimum color value to pink to have some contrast.

Let’s recreate the last part of our dashboard.

How to See the Most Popular Content on a Website

The last portion of our dashboard has a table that shows us the most popular content on our website.

To create this in our dashboard, let’s start with a table.

Next, put the Page path and screen class in the dimensions section, then the Total users, Views, Engaged sessions, and Revenue in the metrics section.

Adding Data Control

Finally, we only have two things left to do to fully recreate our Google Looker Studio tutorial reference dashboard.

If you had been paying close attention to the elements of our reference dashboard, then you’ve noticed that it has a date range control at the top of the banner. 

A date range control is a type of data control that helps you to only display the data you want based on the date range you specify.

Essentially, a data control filters your data and a date range control filters them by date.

Notice the various changes this date range control made to our dashboard.

First, the scorecard showing the number of users displays a smaller value due to the narrower date range.

Next, the four scorecards on our banner have an additional line showing if there were improvements or dips in our KPIs.

Lastly, the line chart date range changed and another series is shown comparing the number of total users from the previous 93 days.

Insert the date range control at the top-right portion and let’s style it a bit.

Set the background color to transparent, change the border color to white, then set the border radius to 15.

Finally, change the font color to white to fix the contrast issue.

Now, the final thing to add is an image of our logo at the top-left corner of the dashboard.

After you select the logo and insert it into your dashboard, you’ll see that there is a contrast issue again. To change this, let’s set the background to transparent again.

Note that this only works if your image or logo already has a transparent background.

💡 Top Tip: While Google provides a myriad of charts we can use in our dashboards, you should check out the Google Looker Studio Community Visualizations to customize your reports further and show your data more clearly.

There you have it! We have completely recreated our reference dashboard, and have learned how to build a basic dashboard in Looker Studio.

There is one last thing we’d like to share with you before finishing this Google Looker Studio tutorial.

Dashboards with Actionable Insights 

There are a lot of other things we could do with Looker Studio. Apart from building dashboards that display information, we also want to build dashboards that provide actionable insights. 

This means creating dashboards that can guide your users and let them not only understand the state of the data, you’re analyzing but also give them an idea of where it is heading.

Remember the more comprehensive dashboard we showed earlier in this Google Looker Studio tutorial?

This is an example of a dashboard with actionable insights, as we not only can see the number of visitors coming to our site but also if we’re hitting our targets.

This tiny bit of information makes all the difference and can elevate your dashboard from a regular one to a dashboard that provides actionable insights.

💡 Top Tip: Check out our guide on the Google Looker Studio Calculated Fields to help you build dashboards with actionable insights.

FAQ How can I start building a dashboard in Google Looker Studio?

To start building a dashboard, log in to your Gmail account and go to chúng tôi From there, you can create a dashboard from scratch or use a template from the Template Gallery.

What data sources can I connect to in Looker Studio?

Looker Studio offers over 730 connectors, including Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Sheets, BigQuery, and more. You can connect to various data sources and combine data from different places into a single location.

How do I view the number of website visitors in Looker Studio?

To view the number of website visitors, you can use scorecards to display key performance indicators (KPIs). You can customize the scorecards by selecting the desired metric, changing the formatting, and duplicating them for multiple metrics.


To summarize, in this Google Looker Studio tutorial, we looked at how to connect our data to Looker Studio and recreated a dashboard to learn how to build one ourselves.

We learned how to add various chart types to the dashboard like tables, scorecards, time series charts, bar charts, and geo charts, as well as other elements like shapes, texts, and images.

We also learned how to format what they show and how the data is shown.

If you would like to go further, why not make your dashboards interactive? Maybe you would also like to check out our top 3 Looker Studio dashboard enhancements to take your dashboards up a notch.

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