With the advance in computer graphics, the way we visualize data have changed drastically in the last 20 years. Visualization Software are developed to take advantage of the graphical power of local computers. But now everything is changing with the Internet. We are consuming a large amount of data online and the desire and expectation to visualizing those data is increasing too. So we need to look at solutions to visualize data for the web.
There are already server side tools or libraries that generate complex graphics. But I think that is not always the best solution. A lot of the visuals could be done on the client side with the browser. It is quite logical to send just the data and let the browser handle the rendering and interaction.
The JIT comes with 4 tools based on some advanced information visualization techniques.
- RGraph – a radial layout of trees with advanced animations
- Treemaps – displaying large hierarchical structures on a constrained space
- Hyperbolic Trees – a focus+context information visualization technique used to display large amount of inter-related data
- Spacetree – expand nodes that are “context-related” in a common tree layout
The Simile Project from MIT is focused on developing robust, open source tools that empower users to access, manage, visualize and reuse digital assets. The web widgets contains a toolbox of several Web widgets and APIs to do just that. Just to highlight 2 of them:
- Timeplot – plotting time series and overlay time-based events over them.
- Timeline - visualizing time-based events. It is like for time-based information.
Visit http://www.unwieldy.net/projects/moowheel/ for more information and example.
JSViz makes it easy to create dynamic 2D views of information including network graphs, navigation, and other dynamic layouts. Here are two example:
Chronoscope is a smart, sophisticated and powerful visualizing tool. It is well tested on a large data points and provide an intuitive way to explore, annotate the data. There are four ways for you to use it:
- Widget - allow you to drop a chart into any web page.
- Microformats - understand data in your web page’s HTML
<table>data and they’re an easy way to add annotations and highlights to charts.
- GWT API – integration with your Google Web Toolkit application.
Visit http://timepedia.org/chronoscope/ for more information and example.
- Shapes drawing
- Canvas manipulation
- Pixel utilities
- Image drawing
- Math functions
- Keyboard and mouse access
- Objects (point, arrays, random number generators)
- Color manipulation
- Font selection and text drawing
Visit http://ejohn.org/blog/processingjs/ for more information and example.