February 25, 2016

Visualization Tools Built on D3

The D3 / Vega stack” (from the creators of D3):

The in-house family of higher-level tools built on top of Mike Bostock’s D3. Mike Bostock developped D3 at the Stanford Visualization Group, led by Jedff Heer. The lab moved to the University of Washington and became the Interactive Data Lab (IDL). IDL/Stanford Vis Group built the Vega declarative visusaliation language on top of D3, Vega-Lite (a simplified declarative language) on top of that, and is building a small suite of exploratory data analysis and design tools on top of Vega and Vega Lite. (IDL is also behind Tableau and the spinoff company Trifacta that makes it.)

My introduction

The Vega family on GitHub

Third-Party Tools built on D3

Here are a numer of third-party languages, environments and tools built on top of D3.

• Mid-level (js)

nvd3.js — many standard chart types

c3.js — many standard chart types

dimple.js — for business

xcharts.js — simple charts, few options

• Specialized Mid-level (js)

Crossfilter — large, cross-linked multivariate datasets in the browser

cubism.js — scalable, realtime animated, time series visualisations

JSNetworkX — networks

• High-level data exploration

raw by Density Design. Drag and drop editor outputs d3 code.

• Visual Programming Environments

vvvv.js — in-browser version of the VVVV visual programming environment (built on D3).

• Full GUI Web Apps

Web interface for D3 (see below). Free (public charts only). Can export to SVG. Powerful. Private charts require a paid subscirption. tutorials

Layout multiple Plotly charts on a single page and publish.

Compare to:
Tableau - desktop + online drag/drop visualization editor. Publish to web. Pro version is $1000. Free student license.). Tableau Public (also free). tutorials Tableau is NOT built on top of D3, but came out of the same group that made D3, and is based on Grammar of Graphics. So, it is conceptually similar to Plotly (and Vega). Orginally called Polaris, it was commercialized as Tableau when the Stanford/IDL group created the company Trifacta.

D3 wrappers in other languages

rCharts — extensible R wrapper. Supports many charting libraries, including NVD3, Polychart, Morris, Rickshaw, xCharts, HighCharts, and Leaflet for mapping.

Shiny - extensible web application framework for R

D3.py — python library for generating d3-based plots, using the panda module. See also: vincent, a python to Vega translator

Plotly also has APIs for the major scientific computing languages (Matlab, R, Python), so a round-about way to leverage D3 without actually using it.

• Other people’s lists of D3 based tools

Tony Hirst: Climbing the d3.js Visualisation Stack

Marielle Lange: D3lib

Mike McDearmon: Data Visualization Libraries Based on D3.JS

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© Copyright 2015 Éric Marty