Software for making clever information visualizations?
February 23, 2009 10:17 PM   Subscribe

How to make clever visualizations from Excel or CSV data? Any free, flexible information-graphic scripting software out there?

I'd like to make a stream graph or an emergent dot graph (like this one) using some time-stamped, categorical spreadsheet data.

Any recommendations for a graphing toolkit that can generate info graphics from CSVs?
posted by anthill to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I don't believe it does stream graphs, but ManyEyes has a number of visualizations that can be applied to your data.
posted by null terminated at 10:31 PM on February 23, 2009

Python code for stream graphs
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:36 PM on February 23, 2009

Gnuplot. You can script just about any data display with some work. You can also embed Gnuplot inside LaTex, which is generally why I do it (think shell script + gnuplot + latex = automated graphs and reports). It's also a powerful realtime plotter all on its own, not just for automation.

I also second R
posted by teabag at 5:24 AM on February 24, 2009

R is awesome, but may be hard to get immediate results from. The Quick-R homepage can help, although it recommends reading An Introduction to R and R for SAS and SPSS Users first.

If you need visualization that R can't do on its own--I'm not finding discucssion of stream graphs--you might check out ggobi, which I don't know much about except for that it does super-nifty data visualization and has hooks for R to use via rggobi.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:39 AM on February 24, 2009

flash based, commercial, and rather nifty: Fusion Charts. the free version has a watermark on the frame of the graph.
posted by beukeboom at 6:51 AM on February 24, 2009

Also, following links from the previous MeFi post, the Python library used to create the LastFM graphs is available: Graphication .
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:55 AM on February 24, 2009

processing is very flexible but possibly more complex than you were looking for.
posted by Chris4d at 7:12 AM on February 26, 2009

Response by poster: Others apparently have the same questions.
posted by anthill at 8:03 AM on May 26, 2009

Response by poster: And others have more answers
posted by anthill at 7:17 AM on August 17, 2009

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