Data Visualization Foundation

Utah Teapot

The Utah Teapot.


Data visualization is the process of mapping quantitative data to visuals (shapes, color, position, etc) to create a graph made of geometric object.


Information visualization:

  • is defined as “visual representations of abstract data to amplify cognition”.
  • is not useful when the information is specific (for a single instance)

The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see.

John Tukey, 1977

A picture is worth a thousand words

The Purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.

Richard Hamming (1962)

See What are images? (also known as pictures)

Giving shapes to data !

Document structure

A scene graph is generally the document containing all graphic information.

Data Type



Graphical methods class:

  • diagram techniques,
  • chart techniques,
  • plot techniques,


Chart Suggestions


Data Visualization - Graphic (Tool|Software|Api|Library)


In realtime chart, you try to repaint only a part of the chart and not to repaint it completely.

Generally updating completely once per second is fine, but updating multiple times per second results in high CPU load.

Best practices / Fact

  • Use common scales to be able to compare across the graphs
  • Proportions are difficult to interpret
  • Avoid pie charts – Angular and curvature comparisons are hard to interpret.
  • Let it simple. Do not use 3-D charts, shading. Limit border, …


Foundation Vis Papers and Books

Data Visualization Nutella

Documentation / Reference

Task Runner