Data Visualization and D3.js Newsletter Issue 27 Weekly Data Visualization and D3.js Newsletter

Hi Friends -

Welcome to the twenty-seventh issue of's Weekly Newsletter

Onwards to this week's links...


  • Drawing Dynamic Visualizations - Bret Victor
    Today's tools offer the benefits of one or the other -- either directness or dynamics -- but not both. Photoshop and Illustrator allow direct-manipulation drawing of static pictures. D3, R, and Processing allow indirect-manipulation coding of dynamic pictures. This talk presents a tool for drawing dynamic pictures -- creating data-driven visualizations, like D3, but via direct manipulation of the picture itself, like Illustrator. Recorded at the Stanford HCI seminar on February 1, 2013.
  • Making The Game of Thrones Visualization
    The D3.js visualization is based on the events which happen to the main characters of the books. With over 2000 characters and close to 5000 pages over 343 chapters, it’s not possible to show everything, so I took about 300 characters and restricted to a small selection of events, such as characters killing each other. Also, I regrouped characters in a 2-level hierarchy so that it would be easier to find them and see what happens at a higher level.

Data Visualization Reading and Videos

  • A Cloudless Atlas — How MapBox Aims to Make the World’s ‘Most Beautiful Map’
    MapBox is a mapping startup that offers users a platform for making custom maps based on OpenStreetMap and other open data. To understand why it was so eager to scoop up Loyd, we need to do a little demonstration. Open your favorite map site (Google, Bing, Mapquest and Yahoo will all work for this) and switch to satellite view. Zoom out all the way. See anything weird?
  • GeoFlow: An Eye-Popping Excel Feature to Showcase Big Data
    GeoFlow is basically Excel charting plus Bing Maps on steroids. If you haven't discovered it already, allow me to introduce you to a free add-in to Excel 2013 which gives you an eye-catching new way to display geographic and time-based data dynamically in 3D.
  • Radical Cartography Using R, ggplot2 & Inkscape
    As an international relations guy, one book that I particularly enjoy is "Wild Bill" Bunge's "Nuclear War Atlas". ... there's a graph in there that I've been wanting to show to students on a classroom projector. ... So I thought I would try to redraw it with R and ggplot2, using inkscape for finishing touches.
  • 15 Beautiful Ocean Data Visualizations
    These datasets produce coherent data values where in-situ measurements are often missing, and their global coverage provides valuable information about the temporal and spatial variability of the oceans. In this blog post I’ll highlight our gridded sources of sea surface temperature, salinity, winds, currents and more, to show how visualization makes ocean data meaningful. Let’s dive in!

D3.js Reading and Videos

  • TopoJSON for Rivers
    Mike Bostock took a crack at using TopoJSON to encode the NHDFlowline dataset. Just the geometry for rivers in 2 dimensions; no properties, etc. Tested just for California. All sizes are one million byte megabytes.
  • D3.js Tutorials in Japanese
    I will look at the tools and knowledge to be official site provides an overview of D3.js, required. 17 Videos available as of this newsletter being sent out.
  • Using and Abusing the Force: Interesting Applications of D3’s Force Layout - Jim Vallandingham
    Force-directed layouts are an intuitive way to discover the structure of a network. Because of its basic physics simulation behavior, force layouts can also be used for radically different - and fun! - purposes. In this talk we will look at interesting derivations and practical applications of the basic force layout, using D3's speedy implementation. Merging force layouts with custom layouts, collision detection techniques, applying new forces, playing with gravity, and various node visuals will all be explored in this talk.

Hope that you had a great past week and that next week is even better!

Wishing you the best, 
Sebastian Gutierrez

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