Every designer knows the problem: where to look for inspiration and new forms of visualization? As available data and visualization tools evolve, this question is becoming increasingly relevant for data journalists as well. Shall we choose a bar chart or a map? What are the best practices out there? Who has done what already? These five data visualization catalogs feature and categorize the best projects out there.
Visual Complexity by Manuel Lima
Visualcomplexity.com is a project by designer and researcher Manuel Lima which features 777 visualizations of complex networks which you can filter by subject (such as art, computer systems, internet, music or social networks), method (types of visualization such as trees, 3D globes or radial networks), trend (news, Twitter, Wikipedia, email, etc), year or top authors. The project page includes a couple of screenshots, a link to the original version as well as a short description. You can also see most visited and most commented projects as well as popular searches which will give you a pretty good picture of what’s most important in networks visualization right now.
NewsVis.org by Robert Kosara
This directory of news visualizations was launched recently by Robert Kosara, a visual analysis researcher at Tableau Software: “The goal of this site is to be as complete as possible in a very narrowly-defined area: visualizations used in the news”. The start page features news visualizations in a chronological order, but you can also filter the results by media, languages, topics, authors, chart types and whether the visualization is interactive or not. You can also submit your own news visualization for review. Read more about the project in Robert’s blog.
Graphics Collection by Marije Rooze
Although this graphics collection is limited to just The New York Times and The Guardian, it offers a great overview of the best visualization on politics, business, sports, science, demographics, environment and other media-related issues. Filters let you choose visualizations based on their type, source data, density of annotation and data types. Together with NewsViz.org, this is a comprehensive guide to modern news visualization.
Yet another comprehensive collection of interactive and static visualizations. You can choose a topic, form, or tool above to filter, although the main focus is on the topics such as environment, economy, health or energy. Filtering by tools is also an extremely useful function – you can choose to have a look solely at visualizations created with the help of D3, Processing, R or Python. This helps a lot when you start exploring a new tool and look for good examples of visualizations you can create with it. You can also explore featured galleries and upload your own work.
Data visualization catalogue by Severino Rebecca
This data visualization catalog offers a different approach to categorizing different types of visualization. Here, you can explore different types of visualization by their functions, that is, by what you want to show with your data, for example proportions, comparisons, location, probability, ranges or distributions. This especially comes in handy for beginning data journalists who haven’t studied design and have some data at hand which needs to be visualized. For each diagram type, there’s a short description and an explanation of how it works as well as additional functions and variations. For many diagram types, there’re also real-life examples.
Bonus: VisualDataBlog and Pinterest
I have recently launched the VisualDataBlog which shows the best practices of data visualization and features the best tools to create your visualizations with or without code. There’re also good collections on Pinterest I would recommend: – See by DataViz – Infographics by Stephanie Wolf – Infographics and Top Data Journalism Links by Global Investigative Journalism Network
Written for Open Data Hack Day blog