The Ultimate List of 21 Free and Open Source Data Visualisation Tools

Visualisation can be effective when communicating complex research. Data visualisations – which may take the form of charts or graphs, diagrams, images, animations and infographics – can be a powerful way of synthesising your research, and representing it in a way that’s understandable even to a non-expert audience. Searching for data visualisation tools, however, is a daunting, time-consuming and costly task that requires research and usually an enterprise-level budget.

Image: Pixel cell idea visualization by manfredsteger via Pixabay
Image: Pixel cell idea visualization by manfredsteger via Pixabay

In this Solutions Review article, Timothy King provides an overview of 21 open source and/or commercially free data visualisation tools as a solution to this issue. From basic and common software like Google Charts and Google Data Studio to more complex platforms such as Polymaps (for map making) and dygraphs (for large data sets with statistical components), these tools are summarised and categorised to give readers a glimpse into the possibility of data visualisation tools.

The complete list of tools reviewed is:

Candela Plotly Chart Studio Charted

            Candela           Chart Studio         Charted

Chartist ColorBrewer D3.js

  Chartist       ColorBrewer             D3.js

Datawrapperdygraphs Flot

  Datawrapper      dygraphs              Flot

Google Charts Google Data StudioHighcharts

Google Charts    Google Data Studio    Highcharts

Leaflet myHeatmap OpenHeatMap

    Leaflet          myHeatmap    OpenHeatMap

Palladio Polymaps RAW Graphs

       Palladio          Polymaps      RAW Graphs

Tableau Software TimelineJS WebDataRocks

Tableau Public  TimelineJS     WebDataRocks


Read the full review or explore more about data visualisation through one of our 23 Research Things blog posts. Don’t forget to subscribe to Researcher@Library blog to never miss tips and tricks to assist you in your research careers.

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