Data visualization is the mechanism of taking tabular or spatial data and conveying it in a human-friendly and visual way. There are several open source tools that can help you create useful, informative graphs. In this post we will take a look at eight open source, data visualization tools.
Datawrapper was created by journalism organizations from Europe, designed to make data visualization easy for news institutes. Based on a web based GUI (graphics user interface), it promises to let you create a graph in just four steps.
Chart JS is a clean charting library. Before you can create a chart, you'll need to include the library in your frontend code. Once done, you can use the API from the library to add charts and assign values. More technical details are available here. This is a good option for people who need precise control over look and feel of their charts, but if you don't want to get your hands dirty with the code, this is probably not the best option for you.
Created by the product science team at Medium, this is one of most minimal charting tools available online. You can just paste a link of a Google spreadsheet or a .csv file (input data) and tool create a chart with the data. Charted fetches the data every 30 minutes, making sure the chart is up-to-date. Although available freely online, you can host your own version by using the code.
Raw is a web-based tool that allows you to simply paste your data and create graphs in few simple steps. Built on the D3.js library, it is extremely easy to use and packs all the goodness of D3 into a format that is ready to be used by non-programmers. You can choose to use the free web hosted tool, or fork the project on GitHub and host it behind your firewall.
Every once in a while, you face a situation that requires you to display events as sequential timelines. This tool, Timeline, helps you achieve this. To create timelines, all you need to do is format your data, like in this example template. Once you have the data formatted in a Google spreadsheet, use Timeline's generator to publish it. That's it! You have the embed code available now and can use it to embed the timeline in web pages. Here is a video tutorial to make it even easier.
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