Quick tip: What tools make what visualisations?

One of the re-occurring questions I get asked during or after a training workshop comes from delegates curious to know what tools were used to build ‘this’ or ‘that’ visualisation project. Whilst I attempt to answer to the best of my awareness and judgment on a one-off basis, I recognise there is a wider appetite for this kind of insight amongst any visualisation enthusiast.

I have some plans for a relatively big piece of work around this issue (and combining several others key aspects like this, too) in 2014 but, in the meantime, I thought I’d share a quick tip that I’ve found to be a useful source of reference. Our friends at visualizing.org have a great feature on their gallery that enables you to search for projects based on the tools that were used to build each project.


Details of the tools that have contributed to the build of each visualisation are recorded by the creator at the time of the initial upload into the gallery. Naturally, we are at the mercy of how comprehensive this information is recorded in the first place but there should be good faith in the quality of the data.


This leaves the searching of visualisations that have been built using specific tools (admittedly, often alongside several others) a really straightforward task and offers a decent option for those wanting to learn more about the behind-the-scenes mechanics of the some of the visualisations they are interested in.


Announcing new training locations for early 2014

A few weeks ago I invited suggestions for locations I should look to arrange my next schedule of public data visualisation training workshops up to around May 2014.

I’ve had such a broad array of requests and recommendations, thank you to all who got in touch!

Ultimately, my plan is to arrange events in the locations below, which are not dissimilar to my initially intended locations. I have had to trim back my ambitions slightly due to existing commitments and an inability to be in two places at once! However, I will have more time from end of May onwards to pursue plans to visit more places, including what will be a follow up trip to Australia.


I will now work on confirming dates as soon as possible and will create registration pages once this has been finalised. In the meantime, if you want to provisionally let me know of your interest in attending any one of these events, just get in touch via email andy@visualisingdata.com.

Note also that the locations above are in addition to existing events planned for London (14th Jan) and Utrecht (22nd Jan).

My ‘Expert Gallery’ selections for Visualizing.org

I was thrilled to be invited by Visualizing.org to compile the latest in their series of ‘expert galleries‘. My choices were based on a selection of great time-based visualisation work.

This gallery showcases a top ten selection of visualizations that tell a story over time. The ability to tell compelling stories using time-based data can be taken for granted. These projects demonstrate how much skill and clever thinking is required.

You can visit the gallery direct or read the associated blog post for some of my explanations.


3D printing capability via DataAppeal maps

Last week I shared details of a treemap data art project, now here’s another way to transform your data into something more than just a form of communication. The latest release of DataAppeal enables users to import their generated 3D data-maps into other 3D modelling and vector-based software programmes creating the potential for physical 3D prints being made of their data. Here are some examples of the potential outputs, sent to me by founder, Nadia Amoroso.


In this sequence of examples we see a data representation of GTA Transit volume across thousands of districts in Toronto and surrounding across over a 24 hour period.


The output of the initial 3D mapping from DataAppeal is then compatible with software including AutoCAD, SketchUp, Rhino and 3ds Max.



From there, why not go a stage further and get physical!