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Learning data visualization

stereobooster profile image stereobooster Updated on ・2 min read

I started to learn data visualization. I will post my findings along the way. Let's start with resources for learning. This is not an exhaustive list, I chose items based on my intuition I didn't have time to read them (I just started).


The Grammar of Graphics (Statistics and Computing)

I like the idea of "grammar", I hope they analyzed what are building blocks of visualization. My secret dream is to create a declarative language for visualization because stitching D3 visualization manually is so tedious.

4 books by Edward Tufte

He is an alive legend of visualization. I want to read all 4 his books.

There is his lecture, so you can get a better picture of what he is talking about in his books.


Those are books I chose for myself. It doesn't mean they are the best way to start this subject. A bigger list of the books is here.


Academic papers

Online courses



Do you have more recommendations for me? What else I should look into?

Photo by Celso Oliveira on Unsplash

Discussion (8)

puleta profile image
Puleta • Edited

loving the post, this is something I wanted to research and learn, the core of visualization, and story telling, when to use scatter plot when something else, how to tell a story from data etc. You saved me a bunch of time with these links, Thanks!

egimba profile image
Eric Gitonga

Check out Makeover Mondays. They have a weekly visualization challenge. They share a selection of the submitted work. They also have a book that they published with some of the projects shared in the past.

I just started my data science journey, currently going through The Book of R to start off...

denisinvader profile image
Mikhail Panichev

My secret dream is to create a declarative language for visualization because stitching D3 visualization manually is so tedious

Just combine D3 with JSX

stereobooster profile image
stereobooster Author

I wish it would be that easy. The complex part here is to define a set of abstractions, which then could be described as JSX or any DSL. D3 does not provide those abstractions, it provides primitives to build visualization, but they are to low level, as a result, code from D3 often poorly composable. I want something higher level, which in turn can be implemented in D3 (or any other charting library).

denisinvader profile image
Mikhail Panichev

But high-level APIs don't provide you much control of view and interactivity.

What's about react-vis?

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stereobooster profile image
stereobooster Author

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I'm not looking for a library or algorithm, which will help me to draw one or another graph (I know how to do it or can google anything I don't know). My research is in the area of visualization itself, what are the core ideas, why do we do it, how do we do it, how to do it better, is there a way to automate visualizations. If you take a look at any classification of visualization (cheatsheet section of the article) you will notice that those classifications are layman's theories. I wonder if this generally unsolvable problem or nobody tried before.

ronnydw profile image
Ronny De Winter

Check the Coursera specialisation: data visualization by New York University, Tandon School of Engineering

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