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Data Management

Data Visualization: Overview

Data visualization refers to the creation and analysis of visual representations of data, such as network visualizations, graphs, diagrams, models, and images.  Data visualization tools allow users to clearly communicate their research results, as well as to visually represent data in new ways that allow for enhanced understanding and discovery.

Applications & Data Types

Visualization helps people understand and contextualize complex data, and is most appropriate for certain types of data:

  • Multivariate data: data with several variables can be difficult to capture in a spreadsheet or a chart
  • Numeric data with a broad range: data that vary greatly (like the astronomical measures of stars) or are hard to comprehend (like very large sums of money) often benefit from visualization
  • Geographic data: data can be overlaid to a map to easily represent geographic relationships
  • Large texts or spreadsheets: visualizations can condense long texts and reveal aggregate trends which are not evident in micro-inspection

Data Visualization Tools

Programming & Scripting

If you wish to build a visualization from the ground up, you can use the Java programming language to build an applet. Below are some resources that may help you develop a data visualization with a programming or scripting language.


Network Visualization