It’s not always possible to get your hands on some really good chart software, as a matter of fact – I recently blogged about some top flowchart software in the market, and while there is variety – I’m pretty sure there are those who prefer something more native to the web.
I look at charts and graphs as a way of publishing higher quality content, and not just because I want to, but because it has been proven / known that visual content is far more appealing than just several walls of text.
The team behind Humble software have been building visualization, graph applications for quite some time now. Their Flotr2 library is one of the most popular ones, as it offers a great deal of pre-made examples that are both easy to setup, and understand even for the beginner user.
I also like the fact that you can extend the library by adding your own graph types, and even your own plugins to take it to the next level. Now, it is built for Canvas (HTML5) and so integration with mobile devices is seamless. It supports IE6+.
Springy is a force directed graph layout algorithm. It means that springy uses some real world physics to try and figure out how to show a network graph in a way that looks good.
It has a fairly easy API to work with, and it generally isn’t hard to understand, just take a look at the source code to get a feel of it. You can also check out a more advanced demo, for connecting shapes.
With this library, you can build data-driven data graphs literally in minutes! Try out the demo page, and see what it is capable of. I’m really liking the flat design so far.
Rickshaw is another successor of D3, and tries to make creating graphs an effortless thing. You can easily manipulate D3, and even SVG from within the framework’s base – it’s all accessible and easy to use.
I’m really liking the depth of the multiple renders demo, and take a look at the source of that page, to see how easy it all comes together.
You can build all kinds of graphs with Ico, and focus is heavily being put on simplicity. You’ll need Raphael to get this going.
Like for example, the ability to stack graphs together, zoom-in and out – directly from the viewers page, though you do need additional plugins to get it working.
Overall, there’s a great deal of interactivity happening with Flot, and that’s what I like the most!
It took me some time to put these together, I’d definitely appreciate some feedback and perhaps some of your own demos of how the usage of these tools can be extended? While I didn’t intend to find any more of these, you’re more than welcome to share your own favorites.
We could see that D3 and Raphael are dominating the list quite a bit, but that only tells us that those are great tools / communities to work together with.