Web Information Visualization Tool

20 Dec 2011 - 5:03pm
4 years ago
5 replies
2035 reads


I am surveying tools for interactive web information visualization, which is not too technical for class project but still feasible enough to be applied to practical project.

I guess Flex or Flare would not be compatible anymore alogn with the declination of Flash ActionScript (is this correct...?). Then Processing would be a reasonable tool to start information visualization with? What do you think a good interactive visualization tool that can be applied to senior design course project with technical compatibility as well as design flexibility?

If you could recommend any web visualization tool, that will be very much appreciated!


21 Dec 2011 - 2:35am


I think flash/as3 would still be ok for something like web published DV as its got good support and a bunch of libs available. You’re right that its less and less attractive as more becomes possible with HTML5 and Javascript. Processing is great for standalone stuff and can load data from the web but requires a java plugin to run in a browser, which can’t be guaranteed on all platforms like mobile and tablets. Which leads us back to Javascript

Javascript will be the most useful as they’ll use it for all kinds of stuff down the track. Wordpress widgets, frontend extentions for software, game dev in Unity, its used in a lot of places.

I've seen a few people using Protovis for DV on the web. It certainly seems one of the most aesthetic but it looks like its not being supported anymore. You should also look at Javascript InfoVis Toolkit. I haven't used it but it seems pretty versatile and solid for web deployment and/or mobile. The demos show a bunch of different presentation styles form radial graphs and space trees to all your standard charts and graphs. Best of all its opensource!

22 Dec 2011 - 12:07pm
Don Dunbar

I wanted to clarify some things in Almaco's comment.  Processing does not require a java plugin as it can easily be used directly with Processing javascript. And, Protovis is no longer being mantained. One of its creators has developed D3 javascript which is maintained and up to date. Processing javascript works with the canvas element and D3 works with SVG so be aware of the differences: usually which you choose depends on how much data you need to process and display. Canvas is better with larger amounts of data. SVG's qualities are that you can directly attach event listeners to each element you create and that each element is a vector graphic.  I reccomend checking out both and weighing thier qualities for your project.


24 Dec 2011 - 4:07am

Thank you all for the information!

27 Dec 2011 - 12:42pm

You can use HTML5/CSS3/jQuery and another option is Flash. Both have positive and negative sites. Flash interactivity much more than HTML5/CSS3/jQuery. If you are looking for any simple visual presentation then better to use HTML5.

28 Dec 2011 - 8:59am

I'd recommend using http://raphaeljs.com/.  It compatible with a range of browsers (including IE), it's reasonably simple to master and can produce very good results.


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