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This guide collects resources related to scientific, research and data visualization. Learn more about these visualizations through introductory resources, lectures, and the book list. View powerful examples of visualizations and learn about the best practices. Explore some of the best visualization tools, and find data sources.



Peer Reviewed Definition of Data Visualization

Overview of Data Visualization

Wikipedia Entry: Data Visualization



Designing Data Visualizations with Noah Iliinsky

Top Trends in Data Visualization 2013

Chris Johnson: Visualizing Large Datasets (TED Talk)

David McCandless: The Beauty of Data Visualization (TED Talk)

Hans Rosling: Let My Dataset Change Your Mindset (TED Talk)



Scientific Evidence for Popular Health Supplements

Lauren Manning: Food Data (FLICKR)

Periodic Table of Visualization Methods


50 Most Stunning Examples of Data Visualization and Infographics



7 Basic Rules for Making Graphs and Charts

The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers

Data Visualization Basics



Resources, news/events, datasets, and “showcases”—new creations in the data visualization field on a wide variety of topics.

Data Visualization Gallery: United States Census Bureau

View weekly explorations of U.S. census data and access interactive data tools.


“FlowingData explores how designers, statisticians, and computer scientists are using data to understand ourselves better—mainly through data visualization.”

Explore communal data visualizations and infographics. Access free datasets, publicize your own data sets, share and embed original data visualizations.




Create and share interactive maps. Access other interactive data visualizations and geospatial data.


Axiis is an open source data visualization framework designed for beginner and expert developers alike. Axiis provides both pre-built visualization components as well as abstract layout patterns and rendering classes that allow one to create unique visualizations.


Create interactive web pages with maps, timelines, and other types of data visualizations.


Create data visualizations that run in the Adobe Flash Player.


Search for pre-loaded data based on indicators/topics and view visualizations through their software.

Geospatial Training Services

Low-cost and no-cost training in the use of a wide variety of geospatial information systems.

Google Charts

The 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

Google Earth

Explore any location worldwide, including 3D buildings, imagery, and terrain. 

Many Eyes

View featured data visualizations, or search visualizations by rating, topic, or date. Upload your own dataset and create visualization (or create using an existing dataset).


A high-level language and interactive environment for numerical computation, visualization, and programming. Using MATLAB, you can analyze data, develop algorithms, and create models and applications. See also a tutorial on using MATLAB to visualize scientific data.

Open Street Map

View and edit worldwide geographical data using interactive mapping tools.


“PivotViewer makes it easier to interact with massive amounts of data on the web in ways that are powerful, informative, and fun. By visualizing thousands of related items at once, users can see trends and patterns that would be hidden when looking at one item at a time.”

Prefuse Information Visualization Tool Kit

Prefuse is a set of software tools for creating rich interactive data visualizations. The original prefuse toolkit provides a visualization framework for the Java programming language. The prefuse flare toolkit provides visualization and animation tools for ActionScript and the Adobe Flash Player.

Transport Explorer

The International Transport Forum Transport Explorer is an interactive tool that allows users to analyze transport data using an animated graphical or spatial interface. Users can view how indicators evolve over time and examine interrelations between indicators. Users can select colors for indicators in map and scatter plot view and create their own "stories" with animated graphs.

Stat Silk

Offers a range of web-based and desktop software to cater to diverse mapping and visualization needs.


Free data visualization tool can help you create an interactive visualization and embed it in your website or share it.

Visual Understanding Environment

An Open Source project based at Tufts University. The VUE project is focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information.


Generate “word clouds” by entering text or URL.



American FactFinder

Part of U.S. Census; search for U.S. population, economic, housing, and geographic data.

A comprehensive list of open data catalogs curated by experts from around the world.

“Provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets."


The Council of European Social Science Data Archives.

ICPSR: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Provides more than 500,000 files containing social science research data.

IQSS Dataverse Network

An interface for searching across many data archives.

Open Metadata Agency Directory

Integrated listing of national statistical offices, central banks, international organizations, and research data centers.

UK Data Archive

The UK’s largest collection of digital research data in social sciences and humanities

U.N. Data

Retrieve U.N. data from 34 database topics and 60 million records.

World Bank Data

Find country profiles, data by indicator, data by source, and indicators by topic.



The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte (2001)

Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte (1990)

Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative by Edward Tufte (1997)

The Functional Art by Albert Cairo (2012)

Visualize This: The FlowData Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics by Nathan Yau (2011)

Data Visualization: Principles and Practices by Alexandru C. Telea (2007)

Semiology of Graphics: Diagrams, Networks, Maps by Jacques Bertin (1967, 2010)

Designing Data Visualizations by Noah Iliinsky and Julie Steele

The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers by Jane E. Miller (2004)



Albert Cairo

Andy Kirk

Cole Nussbaumer

Drawing by Numbers

Jan Willem Tulp

Kim Rees

Many Eyes

Moritz Stefaner

Nathan Yau

Noah Iliinsky


Created by dpwalton on Oct 2, 2013 Last updated Aug 24, 2015
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