The best web visualization tools

Starting with data journalism is daunting. All the numbers, the charts, the tables…but fortunately there are thousands of online tools that make our job much easier. Here is the list of simple tools to get you started in data:

1. Many eyes

This is one is wide world known and there is a reason for that. It allows you to produce any kind of chart (Ok…almost any kind). You can use their data sets to produce visualization to practice or upload your own.

Tourism to Australia in March 2013 Many EyesChart by AndreyVasnev

2. Visual.ly

I like this one. The design is very simple and modern and it allows you to create infographics very quickly. In addition, Visual.ly is also a community where you can upload your designs, get feedback and comment on other people’s projects. You can even contact employers at Marketplace.

The gallery is also very inspiring…so if you are lacking inspiration take a look.

Presidential Inaugural Addresses

 

3. Info.gram

Info.gram is a free online data visualization tool very useful for online presentation of raw data. It creates very interesting interactive presentations and it is very easy to work with. In comparison with more complex software such as Tableau, which is much more complex and demands more patience.

4. Fusion Tables

Google Fusion Tables is a Google tool to produce visualizations (Ok…everybody could understand that). It produces neat and very professional charts. The best are, in my opinion, the maps. The Guardian’s Data Blog produces a lot of maps with this tool. Simon Rogers did an amazing job with Census 2011. He was able to map England & Wales in religion, immigration and race.

The bad thing? It demands time and patience to go through the tutorials as it is not so straight-forward as info-gram.

5. Data Wrapper

Data Wrapper is very good for beginners (like me). It is an open source tool and creates simple charts in minutes. And when I say simple…well, they really are simple. If you want to create more complex infographics/visualization probably this is not your best choice. However, it works perfectly with simple data.

Simon Rogers made a compilation about what tools The Guardian uses for their visualizations.

Well…these are my top tools. What about yours?

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