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Digital Scholarship: Manage and visualize

The University Libraries' Digital Scholarship initiatives.

Why visualize data?

Data visualization is the graphical representation of data. There are simple representations such as scatterplots and histograms or very complex visualizations such as chloropeths and Sankey diagrams. Data visualizations, when done well, can quickly convey a vast amount of data in a way that people comprehend quickly. There are a number of useful tools and resources in the Duane G. Meyer Library building that can assist you in creating visualizations.

Visualization examples

Amazing historical visualizations:

Mortality in the Crimean War (Florence Nightengale)

Napoleon's Russian campaign (Charles Minard)

London Cholera Maps (John Snow)

Modern visualizations:

Solar eclipses (Washington Post)

Universcale (Nikon)

100 Years of Rock (

Learn about Visualization

The following resources provide information about how and why to create and use visualizations.



  • Few, S. (2006). Information dashboard design: The effective visual communication of data (First edition). O’Reilly.
  • Steele, J., & Iliinsky, N. P. N. (Eds.). (2010). Beautiful visualization: Looking at data through the eyes of experts (First edition). O’Reilly.
  • Tufte, E. R. (1983). The Visual display of quantitative information. Graphics Press.
  • Yau, N. (2011). Visualize this: The FlowingData guide to design, visualization, and statistics. Wiley Pub.


Visualization Tools

  • ArcGIS is a mapping and data analysis application.
  • D3.js - is a javascript library for visualization and data processing.
  • is an extension in Google Drive or Microsoft Office 365. It can create many types of diagrams,  flow charts, and other visualizations.
  • Highcharts provides javascript charts to include on web pages.
  • Microsoft Excel provides a foundation for working with data and visualizing it. It can connect to external data sources, or export data to external visualization software.
  • Microsoft Power BI can create dynamic dashboards and connect to data from single files or external data sources.
  • R Project is free software environment for statistical computing and graphics.
  • Tableau is an easier to learn but still sophisticated visualization software