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Visualizing Data


Visualizing Data Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Enormous quantities of data go unused or underused today, simply because people can't visualize the quantities and relationships in it. Using a downloadable programming environment developed by the author, Visualizing Data demonstrates methods for representing data accurately on the Web and elsewhere, complete with user interaction, animation, and more.

How do the 3.1 billion A, C, G and T letters of the human genome compare to those of a chimp or a mouse? What do the paths that millions of visitors take through a web site look like? With Visualizing Data, you learn how to answer complex questions like these with thoroughly interactive displays. We're not talking about cookie-cutter charts and graphs. This book teaches you how to design entire interfaces around large, complex data sets with the help of a powerful new design and prototyping tool called "Processing".

Used by many researchers and companies to convey specific data in a clear and understandable manner, the Processing beta is available free. With this tool and Visualizing Data as a guide, you'll learn basic visualization principles, how to choose the right kind of display for your purposes, and how to provide interactive features that will bring users to your site over and over. This book teaches you:

  • The seven stages of visualizing data — acquire, parse, filter, mine, represent, refine, and interact
  • How all data problems begin with a question and end with a narrative construct that provides a clear answer without extraneous details
  • Several example projects with the code to make them work
  • Positive and negative points of each representation discussed. The focus is on customization so that each one best suits what you want to convey about your data set
The book does not provide ready-made "visualizations" that can be plugged into any data set. Instead, with chapters divided by types of data rather than types of display, you'll learn how each visualization conveys the unique properties of the data it represents — why the data was collected, what's interesting about it, and what stories it can tell. Visualizing Data teaches you how to answer questions, not simply display information.

Book News Annotation:

Fry (MIT Media Laboratory) maintains that data needs to developed in a visual manner before it can be used by a majority of the population, so he designed a software application that will organize quantities and relationships in such a manner. This guide is designed as a companion piece to that software application, known simply as Processing, and helps users shape enormous data sets into forms that are more easily digested. The author includes additional codes and sample exercises to illustrate the effectiveness of this software environment, and emphasizes the importance of customizing each set of data to its specific purpose. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)


Frys work demonstrates methods for representing data accurately on the Web and elsewhere, complete with user interaction, animation, and more. This book also shows readers how to design entire interfaces around large, complex data sets.

About the Author

Ben Fry earned his Ph.D. at the MIT Media Laboratory and is a designer in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

PrefaceChapter 1: The Seven Stages of Visualizing DataChapter 2: Getting Started with ProcessingChapter 3: MappingChapter 4: Time SeriesChapter 5: Connections and CorrelationsChapter 6: Scatterplot MapsChapter 7: Trees, Hierarchies, and RecursionChapter 8: Networks and GraphsChapter 9: Acquiring DataChapter 10: Parsing DataChapter 11: Integrating Processing with JavaBibliographyColophon

Product Details

Fry, Ben
O'Reilly Media
Data Modeling & Design
Data Processing - General
Java (Computer program language)
Web sites
Data processing
Web sites -- Authoring programs.
Web site development
Database design
Ben Fry;animation;graphics;processing;processing;statistics;visualization
Computer Graphics - General
CourseSmart Subject Description
Edition Description:
Print PDF
Publication Date:
9.1 x 7 x 0.6 in 1.79 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Graphic Design
Computers and Internet » Computers Reference » General
Computers and Internet » Database » Design
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Computers and Internet » Graphics » User Interface
Computers and Internet » Graphics » Visualization
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Reference » Science Reference » Technology

Visualizing Data Used Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages O'Reilly Media - English 9780596514556 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Frys work demonstrates methods for representing data accurately on the Web and elsewhere, complete with user interaction, animation, and more. This book also shows readers how to design entire interfaces around large, complex data sets.
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