Data Visualization

 

What is Data Visualization?

Good question! In a nutshell (and much as you would expect) data visualization is the visual representation of data. For a more helpful definition you might want to see the Wikipedia Data Visualization entry or Matthew Ward’s Overview of Data Visualization talk overview.  For an interactive chart displaying various different visualization methods (including data visualization) see A Periodic Table of Visualization.

Short List

Here is just a smattering of of data visualization applications & programming languages, with an emphasis on open source resources.
See also the data visualization software list (wikipedia).

NameDescriptionPlatform/OS/BrowserLanguage(s)License
Google Chart ToolsThe Google Chart API lets you dynamically generate charts with a URL string. You can embed these charts on your web page, or download the image for local or offline use. Browser-based API
birdeyeInformation Visualization and Visual Analytics Library for Adobe Flex.ActionscriptMIT license
flotFlot is a pure Javascript plotting library for jQuery. It produces graphical plots of arbitrary datasets on-the-fly client-side. Internet Explorer 6/7/8, Firefox 2.x+, Safari 3.0+, Opera 9.5+ or Konqueror 4.x+ with the HTML canvas tag.JavascriptMIT License
FlareFlare is an ActionScript library for creating visualizations that run in the Adobe Flash Player. ActionscriptBSD
GephiGephi is an interactive visualization and exploration platform for all kinds of networks and complex systems, dynamic and hierarchical graphs.Windows, Linux, MacOS XJava version 6 or laterAGPL 3
JUNGJava Universal Network/Graph Framework.JavaBSD license
Many EyesUpload and share data and create visualizations from your or others' data sets. Browser-based toolterms of use
NodeBoxNodeBox is a Mac OS X application that lets you create 2D visuals (static, animated or interactive) using Python.MacOSPythonMIT License
ProcessingProgramming language & development environment for creation of images, animations & interactions.GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, WindowsProcessingGPL
Processing.jsProcessing visualization language ported to javascript.Javascript
RaphaëlVector graphics javascript library.Raphaël currently supports Firefox 3.0+, Safari 3.0+, Chrome 5.0+, Opera 9.5+ and Internet Explorer 6.0+. JavascriptMIT license
JavaScript InfoVis ToolkitTools for creation interactive data visualizations for the web, javascript w/example HTML.platform independent js libraryJavascript, HTML
d3.jsD3.js is a small, free JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data.JavaScript, HTML and SVG
Google Public Data ExplorerUpload datasets for visualization and exploration.browser-based APIDSPL: Dataset Publishing Language
GraphvizGraphsWindows, Linux, Solaris, MacOSJavaCommon Public License Version 1.0
prefuseVisualization framework for the Java programming language.JavaBSD License
The R ProjectStatistical computing and graphics.UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOSRopen source
SIMILE WidgetsFree, Open-Source Data Visualization Web Widgets, and More.BSD License
McIDAS-V3D geophysical data analysis and visualization.Windows, Linux, MacOSJava, jythonGNU LGPL
Vis5DVis5D is a system for interactive visualization of large 5-D gridded data sets such as those produced by numerical weather models.Windows, Linux, Unix, MacOSCGNU GPL
VisADVisAD is a Java component library for interactive and collaborative visualization and analysis of numerical data. Windows, Linux, MacOSJava, jythonGNU LGPL
OctaveGNU Octave is a high-level interpreted language, primarily intended for numerical computations. It provides capabilities for the numerical solution of linear and nonlinear problems, and for performing other numerical experiments. It also provides extensive graphics capabilities for data visualization and manipulation. OctaveGNU GPL
Tableau PublicTableau Public includes a free desktop product that you can download and use to publish interactive data visualizations to the web. Windows