Swansea University Gwyddor Cyfrifiadur

Image courtesy of Zoltan Hajnal

Data Visualization


You can check out The DataVis YouTube Channel for supplementary material, tutorials on data visualization, and help with test preparation.

An amazing collection of data visualization tools is here: http://keshif.me/demo/VisTools

Another amazing collection is here: http://www.visualisingdata.com/resources/


All students taking the Data Visualization module are welcome to come join us every Thursday at The Visible Lunch

Recommended Co-Requisites for Masters Students

  1. Recommended Co-Requisite: CS_M37 Graphics Surveys and Research Methodology
  2. Recommended Co-Requisite: CS_M67 Graphics Processor Programming
  3. Recommended Co-Requisite: CS_M57 Computer Graphics Visual Computing Project (MRes only)
All of the lecture material, including the material for the assessed coursework, can be found by logging onto Blackboard. However, we will post some useful links to supplementary material here.

Links to Visualization Books:

  1. Interactive Data Visualization by M. Ward, G. Grinstein, and D. Keim

Links related to Assessed Coursework material:

  1. The coursework submission procedure is here.
  2. Bob's Concise Coding Conventions (C3) in Advances in Computer Science and Engineering (ACSE), Vol. 4, No. 1, February 2010, pages 23-36
  3. Bob's Concise Introduction to Doxygen
  4. How to Read a Visualization Research Paper: Extracting the Essentials by Robert S. Laramee, IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications (CG&A), Vol. 31, No. 3, May/June 2011, pages 78-82
  5. Weighting of Assignments
    A1 A2 A3
    with A3 15% 20% 15%
    no A3 22.5% 27.5% 0%

Links related to Fun Visualization Stuff:

  1. Aerodoodle
  2. Earth: A Global Map of Weather Conditions
  3. treevis.net and timevis.net
  4. The Beauty of Data Visualization by David McCandless- a perfect introduction to a hot topic.
  5. Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes -The Joy of Stats -BBC Four : a great version 2.0 of the original classic.
  6. Diagrams that changed the world: a nice article with a historical perspective on data visualization.
  7. Journalism in the Age of Data, a Visually Stunning Documentary: This video explores the exciting potential and occasional pitfalls of modern data visualization.
  8. Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you've ever seen: You've never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world" using extraordinary animation software developed by his Gapminder Foundation...
  9. The IBM Visual Communication Lab: By building graphical displays that spark the exchange of ideas and insights, we investigate the social and communicative value of information visualization...
  10. The Allosphere Video: JoAnn Kuchera-Morin demos the AlloSphere, a new way to see, hear and interpret scientific data. Dive into the brain, feel electron spin, hear the music of the elements ... and detect previously unseen patterns that could lead to new discoveries.
  11. Video on Perception: Beau Lotto: Optical illusions show how we see
  12. FlowingData.com: FlowingData explores how designers, statisticians, and computer scientists are using data to understand ourselves better - mainly through data visualization.
  13. Infosthetics.com: Inspired by Lev Manovich's definition of "information aesthetics", this weblog explores the symbiotic relationship between creative design and the field of information visualization. More specifically, it collects projects that represent data or information in original or intriguing ways.
  14. Spatial Index Demos: These are some nice demos for the understanding of important spatial data structures.
  15. ColorBrewer.org: ColorBrewer is an online tool designed to help people select good color schemes for maps and other graphics.
  16. LIC demo: an online demonstration of the Line Integral Convolution visualization.
  17. VisMaster: a European Coordination Action Project focused on the research discipline of Visual Analytics.
  18. Visual Complexity: Windoze vs Linux Server, on April 14th, 2006, Richard Stiennon wrote an article in ZDNet entitled Why Windows is less secure than Linux...
  19. The Tree Visualization Survey
Links related to Information Visualization Applications:
  1. Data Appeal for map-based visualizations.
  2. ProtoVis.org for creating interactive, web-based information visualizations.
  3. d3.js data-driven documents
  4. IMapBuilder.net for creating interactive, digital maps.
  5. Many Eyes: The online information visualization database and visualization tool.
  6. Visualize Free: is a free visual analysis tool based on the software developed by InetSoft.
  7. Mondrian: Mondrian is a general purpose statistical data-visualization system. It features outstanding visualization techniques for data of almost any kind, and has its particular strength compared to other tools when working with categorical data, geographical data and large data.
  8. Topcat: is an interactive graphical viewer and editor for tabular data. (Available as a free download as of 25 Sep 2009.)
  9. The Xmdv Tool: XmdvTool is a public-domain software package for the interactive visual exploration of multivariate data sets. It is available on all major UNIX/LINUX/MAC and Window platforms. XmdvTool is developed based on OpenGL and Tcl/Tk. (Open source, available as free download.)
  10. Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide.
  11. Treemap from the University of Maryland. (Available as a free download.)
  12. Treemaps for Space-Constrained Visualization of Hierarchies: Everything you would ever want to know about Treemaps, including a lot more links.
  13. Disk Inventory X is a disk usage utility for Mac OS X 10.3 (and later).
  14. SequoiaView: Ever wondered why your hard disk is full? Or what directory is taking up most of the space? When using conventional disk browsing tools, such as Windows Explorer, these questions may be hard to answer. With SequoiaView however, they can be answered almost immediately.
  15. TagXedo: customizable word clouds
  16. https://plot.ly/ Plotly is a collaborative, web-based data analysis and graphing tool.
  17. http://www.xdat.org/ is a free parallel coordinates visualization tool.
  18. http://www.chromeexperiments.com/globe: The WebGL Globe is a free, open platform for geographic data visualization
  19. http://dhumanities.appspot.com/ is a free web-based tool with some simple information visualizations targeted at the Digital Humanities

    The applications below offer a free trial period.

  20. http://www.quadrigram.com/ A rich library of highly-customizable interactive visualizations, more sophisticated visualizations for exploring complex data-sets, e.g. networks, geo-data, zoomable treemap, quadrification, and stacked flow (free 30 day trial)
  21. Origin is a software application for data analysis and publication-quality graphing, tailored to the needs of scientists and engineers. (free trial available)
  22. http://www.treemap.com/ let's you create a variety of different treemap visualizations (free 30 day trial)
  23. IBM SPSS Visualization Designer enables you to develop and share customized data visualizations, from simple charts to advanced graphics. (Free trial available.)
  24. OpenViz: Powerful software tools and solutions for creating highly interactive and customized charts, graphs and data visualizations in ISV and enterprise ... (Not available as a free download as of 25 Sep 2009.)
  25. Tableau: Tableau is a software product suite for visual analysis and web-based analytics. It’s for discovering, visualizing and publishing data. (free trial available, 14 days)
Links related to Information Visualization APIs:
  1. Simile Widgets: Free, Open-Source Data Visualization Web Widgets
  2. Prefuse: Prefuse is a set of software tools for creating interactive data visualizations. (last application download on 20 Nov 2009.)
  3. Iris Explorer: IRIS Explorer is NAG's powerful tool for developing customized visualization applications. (free trial)
  4. Graph Drawing Software: A large list of various open source graph drawing programs written in C, C++, and Java etc.
  5. Google Visualization API Gallery: Even Google is getting into the visualization business -proof that visualization is getting bigger, fast.
  6. IDL: provides solutions for data analysis, data visualization, and software application development.
  7. ParVis: is an open-source tool for parallel coordinates (PC) visualisation of multidimensional data sets...
  8. R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS
Links related to Scientific Visualization Applications:
  1. VolView: VolView is an open-source, intuitive, interactive system for volume visualization that enables users to quickly explore and analyze complex 3D medical or scientific data on Windows, Mac and Linux computers.
  2. BioView 3D volume renderer: is an open source and cross-platform application intended for users to visualize EM, Confocal, etc. 3D imagery. It runs on Windows, MacOS X and Linux. It's based on OpenGL and will run smooth on modern-fast hardware.
  3. VoReen.org: is an open source volume rendering engine which allows interactive visualization of volumetric data sets with high flexibility when integrating new visualization techniques. It is implemented as a multi-platform (Windows, Linux, Mac) C++ library using OpenGL and GLSL for GPU-based rendering, licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
  4. VolRen.org: hosts free software for volume rendering applications. Links to data sets are also provided.
  5. K3D Surf: is a program to visualize and manipulate mathematical models in three, four, five and six dimensions. K3DSurf supports parametric equations and Isosurfaces.
  6. BioView: is an open source and cross-platform application intended for biologists to visualize EM, Confocal, etc. imagery.
Links related to Scientific Visualization APIs:
  1. Inviwo: Interactive Visualization Workshop
  2. VisIT: is a free interactive parallel visualization and graphical analysis tool for viewing scientific data on Unix and PC platforms.
  3. The VTK: The Visualization Toolkit (VTK) is an open-source, freely available software system for 3D computer graphics, image processing and visualization.
  4. ITK (Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit): ITK is an open-source software system to support the Visible Human Project.
  5. Amira: Amira is a powerful, multifaceted software platform for visualizing, manipulating, and understanding Life Science and bio-medical data coming from all types of sources.
  6. Eye-Sys: a commercial visualization application.
  7. DeVIDE: DeVIDE, or the Delft Visualisation and Image processing Development Environment, is a cross-platform software framework for the rapid prototyping, testing and deployment of visualisation and image processing algorithms.
Links related to Data Sets:
  1. The Visible Human
  2. WikiMedia.org: has a number of free, high-quality maps in vector formats.
  3. Turbulent Combustion Simulation: This data set was obtained from a turbulent combustion simulation. It is a time-varying volume data set consisting of multiple variables. The grid structure is Cartesian with uniform spacing. There are 480x720x120 voxels, and a total of 122 time steps.
  4. 2008 IEEE Visualization Contest: The theme for the IEEE Visualization 2008 Contest is Multifield 3D Scalar Data. The subject is an ionization front instability simulation data set submitted by Mike Norman and Daniel Whalen. They want to understand the formation of galaxies, in particular the effect of "shadow instabilities", where radiation ionization fronts scatter around primordial gas.
  5. 2004 IEEE Visualization Contest: The data set for this contest is a simulation of a hurricane from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the United States. The data consists of several time-varying scalar and vector variables over large dynamic ranges.
  6. The Volume Library: The intention of the library is to provide volume datasets for scientists involved with volume visualization and rendering.
  7. Info Chimps: The Infochimps repository contains thousands of datasets contributed by our online community to be shared with the world.
  8. Data.gov: The purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the U.S. Federal Government.
  9. Voreen.org: links to several scivis data sets.
Links related to Other Visualization Courses:
  1. Tamara Munzner's Information Visualization Class: at the University of British Columbia, Canada
  2. Pat Hanrahan's Information Visualization Class at Stanford University
  3. Ronny Peikert's Scientific Visualization Class at ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  4. B.T.M. Roerdink and Michel Westenberg Scientific Visualization Class at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  5. Frits H. Post's Scientific Visualization Class at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Links to valuable C++ programming resources:
  1. C++ .com: A great online reference cite for all of your C++ needs.
  2. http://www.cppreference.com/wiki/: Another handy C++ reference.
  3. G3D: The G3D Innovation Engine is a commercial-grade C++ 3D engine available as Open Source (BSD License). G3D provides a set of routines and structures so common that they are needed in almost every graphics program.
  4. Bob's General Purpose, Object-Oriented C++ Source Code: A small collection of generic, object-oriented C++ classes and source code for visualization purposes.
  5. Bob's Object-Oriented OpenGL C++ Source Code: A small collection of object-oriented C++ code that interfaces with OpenGL.
  6. QT: is a cross-platform application and UI framework. Using Qt, you can write applications once and deploy them across desktop, mobile and embedded operating systems without rewriting the source code.
  7. C++ GUI Programming with QT 3: A free, online book describing QT programming with C++ in great detail.
  8. Bob's Concise Coding Conventions (C3) featuring Bob's Theory of Software Redevelopment, see also
  9. Doxygen: is a documentation system for C++, C, Java, Objective-C, Python, IDL (Corba), Fortran, VHDL, PHP, C#, and to some extent D. It's similar, but better, than JavaDoc.
  10. Bob's Concise Introduction to Doxygen: An Excellent Source Code Comment Standard
  11. Boost.org: Boost provides free peer-reviewed portable C++ source libraries.
  12. Const Correctness: What is "const correctness"? A good thing. It means using the keyword const to prevent const objects from getting mutated...
  13. C++ FAQ: A great source of answers to frequently asked C+ questions.
  14. Valgrind: is an instrumentation framework for building dynamic analysis tools. There are Valgrind tools that can automatically detect many memory management and threading bugs, and profile your programs in detail.
Links to free Screen Capturing Software:
  1. Debut Screen Capturing Software.
  2. CamStudio is an open source tool that is able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs)
  3. ScreenHunter: 5 Free is a completely free screen capture software for you to easily take screenshots.
  4. CamTasia: -a really nice piece of software and recording enables editing by zooming, adding annotations, etc. Unfortunately it's not freeware but the 30 day trial was good enough. (Recommended by James Walker)
  5. Cinelerra: -is a free, open-source, feature-rich video editor for linux (Recommended by Dan Lipsa)
  6. Screenflick for the Mac OS X (Recommended by Dave Chung). You can use this in conjunction with iMovie on the Mac for video editing.
  7. AVS Video Editor (Recommended by Richard Roberts).
You can convert an AVI file to MPEG format by entering "avi 2 mpg" in google.

Links related to Image Processing APIs:

  1. http://cimg.sourceforge.net/: The CImg Library is an open source C++ toolkit for image processing. It's a very pleasant toolbox to code image processing in C++, and potentially covers a wide range of image processing applications.
  2. Image Magick: is a software suite to create, edit, and compose bitmap images.
  3. Magick++: is the object-oriented C++ API to the ImageMagick image-processing library, the most comprehensive open-source image processing package available.
  4. GDAL: (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library) is a translator library for raster geospatial data formats that is released under an X/MIT style Open Source license by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.
  5. OpenCV: The Open Computer Vision Library has > 500 algorithms, documentation and sample code for real time computer vision
Links related to Computer Graphics Resources:
  1. Real Time Rendering: the web site to support the book.
Links related to Computer Graphics APIs:
  1. ORGE: has grown to become one of the most popular open-source graphics rendering engines...
  2. Processing.org: Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. It can be used for either computer graphics or visualization.
  3. Alice.org: Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web.
  4. Blender: is a free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.

This page is maintained by Robert S. Laramee.
In case of comments, questions, suggestions, or collaboration ideas, send email to: r.s.laramee "at" swansea.ac.uk.

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