16 Javascript Libraries for Visualizations

As data visualization often needs to reach a broad audience the browser is becoming the number one tool to publish and share visualizations. A lot of visualizations require user-interaction to unleash their full potential, thus interactive applets that run directly in the browser are a a great way to analyze the data at hand. Beside the usual suspects like Flash, Silverlight and Processing, JavaScript is quickly gaining ground in the field of interactive visualization embedded in websites. We’ve collected 13 16 JavaScript visualization libraries that help you get started faster, keep it flexible and develop with higher reliability.

Processing.js

processing_jsProcessing.js is an open programming language for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions for the web without using Flash or Java applets. Processing.js uses Javascript to draw shapes and manipulate images on the HTML5 Canvas element. The code is light-weight, simple to learn and makes an ideal tool for visualizing data, creating user-interfaces and developing web-based games.

Runs in
Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, IE
Uses
Canvas tag / IE Canvas tag
Link
http://processingjs.org/

Raphaël

raphaelRaphaël is a small JavaScript library that should simplify your work with vector graphics on the web. If you want to create your own specific chart or image crop and rotate widget, for example, you can achieve it simply and easily with this library.
Raphaël uses the SVG W3C Recommendation and VML as a base for creating graphics. This means every graphical object you create is also a DOM object, so you can attach JavaScript event handlers or modify them later.

Runs in
Firefox 3.0+, Safari 3.0+, Opera 9.5+ and Internet Explorer 6.0+
Uses
SVG, VML
Link
http://raphaeljs.com

JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit

thejitThe JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit is a complete set of tools to create Interactive Data Visualizations for the Web. It includes JSON loading, animation, 2D point and graph classes and some predefined tree visualization methods.

Runs in
IE6+, Firefox2+, Safari3+, Opera9.5+
Uses
Canvas tag
Link
http://thejit.org/

Protovis

jitProtovis is a visualization toolkit for JavaScript using SVG. It takes a graphical approach to data visualization, composing custom views of data with simple graphical primitives like bars and dots. These primitives are called marks, and each mark encodes data visually through dynamic properties such as color and position.

Runs in
Firefox 3, Chrome and Safari 4
Uses
SVG
Link
http://vis.stanford.edu/protovis/

jQuery Sparklines

jquery_sparklinesjQuery Sparklines is a jQuery plugin that generates sparklines (small inline charts) directly in the browser using data supplied either inline in the HTML, or via javascript.

Runs in
Firefox 2+, Safari 3+, Opera 9 and Internet Explorer 6, 7 & 8
Uses
Canvas tag
Link
http://omnipotent.net/jquery.sparkline/

Primer

primerPrimer is a tiny JavaScript library that simplifies the workflow of creating graphics right in the HTML using the object. Simply create a Primer() object in a DIV of your choice and then you’re ready to start drawing.

Runs in
Firefox 2+, Safari 3+, Opera 9
Uses
Canvas tag
Link
http://github.com/mojombo/primer/tree/master

Flot

flotFlot is a pure Javascript plotting library for jQuery. It produces graphical plots of arbitrary datasets on-the-fly client-side.
The focus is on simple usage (all settings are optional), attractive looks and interactive features like zooming and mouse tracking.

Runs in
Firefox 2.x+, Safari 3.0+, Opera 9.5+, Konqueror 4.x+, IE 6/7/8
Uses
Canvas tag
Link
http://code.google.com/p/flot/

jQuery Google Charts

jquerychartsjQuery Google Charts is a jQuery Plugin for producing visualizations using the Google Charts API.

Runs in
Image- and JS-ready browsers
Uses
Image tag
Link
http://www.maxb.net/scripts/jgcharts/

jQ Chart

jqchartjQ Chart is another jQuery Plugin for creating canvas based visualizations. Unfortunately the documentation is only partly written in english languge.

Uses
Canvas tag
Link
http://jsgt.org/lib/jquery/plugin/jqchart/

TufteGraph

tuftegraphTufteGraph is a jQuery Plugin that lets you create graphs. There are no predefined layout structures – everything is set via Cascading Style Sheets.

Tested in
Firefox 3 and Safari 3
Uses
SVG & CSS
Link
http://xaviershay.github.com/tufte-graph/

jqPlot

jqplotjqPlot is a plotting and charting plugin for the jQuery Javascript framework. jqPlot produces beautiful line, bar and pie charts with many features: Numerous chart style options, Date axes with customizable formatting, Up to 9 Y axes, Rotated axis text, Automatic trend line computation, Tooltips and data point highlighting, Sensible defaults for ease of use.

Runs in
IE 6, IE 7, IE 8, Firefox, Safari, and Opera
Uses
Canvas tag
Link
http://www.jqplot.com/

jQuery Visualize

visualizeVisualize provides a simple method for generating bar, line, area, and pie charts from an HTML table, and allows you to configure them in a variety of ways.

Runs in
Firefox, Safari, and Opera
Uses
Canvas tag
Link
http://www.filamentgroup.com/lab/

MooWheel

moowheelThe purpose of the moowheel script is to provide a unique and elegant way to visualize data using Javascript and the object. This type of visualization can be used to display connections between many different objects, be them people, places, things, or otherwise.

Runs in
Firefox, Safari, and Opera
Uses
Canvas tag / IE canvas tag
Link
http://www.unwieldy.net/projects/moowheel/

UPDATE:

DojoX.Charting

dojo_xdojox.charting provides many common chart types–including line, bar, area and pie charts– and gives you the flexibility to mix many types of charts for unprecedented visualization.

Runs in
Firefox, Safari, Opera, IE
Uses
SVG
Link
http://dojotoolkit.org/projects/dojox

PlotKit

plot_kitPlotKit is a Chart and Graph Plotting Library for Javascript. It has support for HTML Canvas and also SVG via Adobe SVG Viewer and native browser support.

Runs in
Firefox, Safari, Opera, IE6
Uses
SVG & Canvas
Link
http://www.liquidx.net/plotkit/

Flotr

flotrFlotr is a javascript plotting library based on the Prototype Javascript Framework 1.6+. It enables you to draw appealing graphs in most modern browsers with an easy to learn syntax. The currently supported chart types are: Histograms (vertical, horizontal, stacked bars), Lines (filled or not), Points (scatter plots), Pie chart, Candle sticks (and barcharts), Radar chart, Markers (positioned text).

Runs in
Firefox 2+, Safari 3+, Chrome 1.0+ Opera 9+ and IE6+.
Uses
Canvas / VML
Link
http://code.google.com/p/flotr/

Help us complete this list!

Did we miss your favourite library? Please share your input in the comments.

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