CS 795/895 - Applied Visual Analytics
Spring 2013: Mon 3-5:35pm, E&CS 2120

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  • Dr. Michele Weigle
  • mweigle at cs.odu.edu
  • E&CS 3214
  • Office Hours:
    M 1:30-3pm
    Th 9:30-10:45am




Tableau's data visualization software is provided through the Tableau for Teaching program.

Systems and Toolkits Notes

There's a nice overview of systems and toolkits at http://selection.datavisualization.ch/

Class examples - http://weiglevm.cs.odu.edu/~mweigle/cs795s13/

Graphing Tools




Visualization Systems


  • http://www.tableausoftware.com
  • the heavy-hitter, very powerful
  • started as Polaris (research project at Stanford)
  • PC-only (but Mac version is rumored)
  • we have an academic license this semester
  • free version (Tableau Public), requires that you upload your data, which becomes public

Google Fusion Tables

Google Public Data Explorer

Many Eyes

  • http://www-958.ibm.com/
  • InfoVis on the web
  • added social component - can comment on any vis
  • upload data sets
    • become public
    • anyone can create vis from the data
  • includes several preloaded vis types

Visualization Toolkits

D3.js (Data Driven Documents)

  • http://d3js.org
  • JavaScript, web-based toolkit
  • current state-of-the-art, follow-up to Protovis
  • uses SVG, CSS, HTML, JavaScript
  • developed by Mike Bostock, who has lots of examples at http://bost.ocks.org/mike/


  • http://vis.stanford.edu/protovis
  • JavaScript, web-based toolkit following a declarative model
    • simple grammar of graphical primitives called marks
    • marks are associated with data, using mapping to physical properties
    • properties can be dynamic or static
    • register event handlers to provide interactivity
  • Tour Through the Visualization Zoo (assigned reading) has examples in Protovis
  • no longer under active development (replaced by D3)


Google Chart Tools

JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit

Sencha Ext JS

Specialized Tools


NodeXL - http://nodexl.codeplex.com/

  • free template for MS Excel
  • for exploring network graphs
  • can directly import Twitter, Facebook, YouTube networks


jQuery Sparklines - http://omnipotent.net/jquery.sparkline/

  • sparkline is an inline graph
  • can display timelines and more (bar charts, boxplots)
  • can use data supplied either inline in the HTML or via JavaScript
  • examples take just 1 line of HTML and 1 line of JavaScript
  • version 2.0 has interactivity (mouseover tooltips, click interaction)

Time Series

Cubism.js - http://square.github.com/cubism

  • D3 plugin for visualizing time series
  • dynamic, can pull data from web

SIMILE Timeline- http://simile-widgets.org/timeline/

  • JavaScript library
  • spin-off of MIT project

SIMILE Timeplot - http://simile-widgets.org/timeplot/

  • JavaScript library
  • spin-off of MIT project
  • plot time series data and overlay time-based events over them


ModestMaps - http://modestmaps.com/

  • free library for interactive maps
  • many implementations (JavaScript, Python, Actionscript, Processing, PHP)

PolyMaps - http://polymaps.org/

  • JavaScript library for making dynamic, interactive maps
  • uses SVG
  • can create your own tiles