Data-Driven Documents: Visualizing library data with D3.js

  • Bret Davidson, North Carolina State University Libraries,

Several JavaScript libraries have emerged over the past few years for creating rich, interactive visualizations using web standards. Few are as powerful and flexible as D3.js[1]. D3 stands apart by merging web standards with a rich API and a unique approach to binding data to DOM elements, allowing you to apply data-driven transformations to a document. This emphasis on data over presentation has made D3 very popular; D3 is used by several prominent organizations including the New York Times[2], GOV.UK[3], and Trulia[4].

Power usually comes at a cost, and D3 makes you pay with a steeper learning curve than many alternatives. In this talk, I will get you over the hump by introducing the core construct of D3, the Data-Join. I will also discuss when you might want to use D3.js, share some examples, and explore some advanced utilities like scales and shapes. I will close with a brief overview of how we are successfully using D3 at NCSU[5] and why investing time in learning D3 might make sense for your library.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Download the video