11 Javascript Data Visualization Libraries for 2018

September 11, 2018 0 Comments

11 Javascript Data Visualization Libraries for 2018

 

 

We live in an era of data explosion, when nearly every application we develop uses or leverages data to improve the experience delivered to the users.

Sometimes, the best feature we can deliver to our users is the data itself. However, table and number charts are often tiring to read and it can be hard to draw actionable insights from large data tables.

Instead, we can use neat data visualization methods that leverage the brain’s ability to identify and process data in a visual way. To help you get started and easily add beautiful data visualization to your favorite application, here are some of the best Javascript data visualization libraries around in 2018 (unranked). Feel free to comment and add your own suggestions and insights!

Tip: We use some of these libraries for various applications, using Bit (GitHub) to share and sync reusable components in different apps and project. Feel free to try these libraries with or without Bit for yourself.

At 80k stars D3.js is probably the most popular and extensive Javascript data visualization library out there. D3 is built for manipulating documents based on data and bring data to life using HTML, SVG, and CSS. D3’s emphasis on web standards gives you the capabilities of modern browsers without coupling to a proprietary framework, combining visualization components and a data-driven approach to DOM manipulation. It allows you to bind arbitrary data to a Document Object Model (DOM), and then apply data-driven transformations to the document. Here’s a great example gallery.

Note: some say D3 isn’t a data visualization library at all… :)

An extremely popular (40k stars) library of open source HTML 5 charts for responsive web applications using the canvas element. V.2 provides mixed chart-types, new chart axis types, and beautiful animations. Designs are simple and elegant with 8 basic chart types, and you can combine the library with moment.js for time axis. You can also check out the library on cdnjs.

This incredibly popular library (45K stars; 1K contributors) in built for creating 3d animations using WebGL. The project’s flexible and abstract nature means it’s also useful for visualizing data in 2 or 3 dimensions. For example You can also use this designated module for 3D graph visualization with WebGL, or try this online playground. Interesting choice to consider.

Example gif from this neat medium post

Baidu’s Echarts project (30k stars) is an interactive charting and visualization library for the browser. It’s written in pure JavaScript and is based on the zrender canvas library. It supports rendering charts in the form of Canvas, SVG (4.0+), and VML In addition to PC and mobile browsers, ECharts can also be used with node-canvas on node for efficient server-side rendering (SSR). Here’s a link to the full example gallery, where each example can be played with (and themed) in an interactive playground.

Highcharts JS is a 8K stars and widely popular JavaScript charting library based on SVG, with fallbacks to VML and canvas for old browsers. It claims to eb used by 72 out of the world’s 100 largest companies, which makes it (probably) the most popular JS charting API in the world (Facebook, Twitter).

React-vis (4k stars) is Uber’s set of React components for visualizing data in a consistent way, including line/area/bar charts, heat maps, scatterplots, contour plots, hexagon heatmaps and much more. The library does not require any previous knowledge with D3 or any other data-vis library, and provides low-level modular building-block components such as X/Y axis. A great match for working with Bit and a very useful library to consider.

Victory is a collection of React composable React components for building interactive data visualization, built by Formidable Labs and with over 6k stars. Victory uses the same API for web and React Native applications for easy cross-platform charting. An elegant and flexible way to leverage React components in favor of practical data visualization. I like it.

These libraries is a neat combination with Bit when using individual components, to share and sync them across apps.


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