数据可视化设计的40个基本工具和资源

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40 Essential Tools and Resources to Visualize Data<br><br>数据可视化的40个基本工具和资源<br><br>One of the most frequent questions I get is, "What software do 

40 Essential Tools and Resources to Visualize Data

数据可视化的40个基本工具和资源

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我被问的最多的一个问题就是“你用啥软件做数据可视化啊?”很多人兴致勃勃地想要玩玩数据可视化,却像狐狸捉刺猬——无从下手。以下就是我正在用或用过的一些觉得有用的工具和资源,主要分为三大部分:数据整理→数据图形化→最后数据动态交互化。

One of the most frequent questions I get is, "What software do you use to visualize data?" A lot of people are excited to play with their data, but don't know how to go about doing it or even start. Here are the tools I use or have used and resources that I own or found helpful for data visualization – starting with organizing the data, to graphs and charts, and lastly, animation and interaction.

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Organizing the Data

整理数据


by sleepy sparrow

Data are hardly ever in the format that you need them to be in. Maybe you got a comma-delimited file and you need it to be in XML; or you got an Excel spreadsheet that needs to go into a MySQL database; or the data are stuck on hundreds of HTML pages and you need to get it all together in one place. Data organization isn't incredibly fun, but it's worth getting to know these tools/languages. The last thing you want is to be restricted by data format.

数据往往不会以你想要的面貌出现。你需要一个XML格式的文件,然而你只有一堆用逗号隔开的数字;你需要一个MySQL数据库,却只有一个EXCEL电子表格;你需要把所有数据整理在一起,却发现数据还在数以百计的HTML网页里优哉游哉……数据整理算不得好玩的事,但是以下的工具/语言却值得去掌握。你也不想对数据的格式转换束手无策吧!

PHP

PHP was the first scripting language I learned that was well-suited for the Web, so I'm pretty comfortable with it. I oftentimes use PHP to get CSV files into some XML format. The function fgetcsv() does just fine. It's also a good hook into a MySQL database or calling API methods.

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PHP

PHP是我学到的第一个脚本语言,非常适合网络应用,用起来很爽。我经常用PHPCSV文件转换为XML格式。fgetcsv()函数很管用,也可用来转换为MySQL数据库或呼叫API



Python

Most computer science types - at least the ones I've worked with - scoff at PHP and opt for Python mostly because Python code is often better structured (as a requirement) and has cooler server-side functions. My favorite Python toy is Beautiful Soup, which is an HTML/XML parser. What does that mean? Beautiful Soup is excellent for screen scraping.

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Python

大多数电脑科技狂——至少我的同事——都是极其鄙视PHP而推崇Python,因为Python代码拥有更好的结构(这个,必须滴~)和更酷的服务器终端功能。我大爱的Python工具是 Beautiful Soup ,他是一个HTML/XML语法分析器。它是干啥的?Beautiful Soup用来屏幕抓取那是杠杠的。 


MySQL

When I have a lot of data - like on the magnitude of the tends to hundreds of thousands - I use PHP or Python to stick it in a MySQL database. MySQL lets me subset on the data on pretty much any way I please.

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MySQL

当我有一大堆数据——像天上的星星一样的多成千上万——我用PHPPython把数据放置在MySQL数据库里。MySQL可以让我按照任何我想要的方式对数据分类。

R

Ah, good old R. It's what statisticians use, and pretty much nobody else. Everyone else has it installed on their computer, but haven't gotten around to learning it. I use R for analysis. Sometimes though, I use it to extract useful subsets from a dataset if the conditions are more complex than those I'd use with MySQL and then export them as CSV files.

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啊哈,R老好了~!统计学家就使用R,其他基本没啥人用了。其他人把R装在电脑上,装完基本都不管事了,也不去学习它。我主要用R来分析数据。有时候,如果情况很复杂,比我用MySQL处理输出CSV文件还要复杂的时候,我也用R来提取数据子集。

Microsoft Excel

We all know this one. I use Excel from time to time when my dataset is small or if I'm in a point-and-click mood.

微软Excel

地球人都知道。当我的数据集很小或只想点击鼠标就了事的时候,我就用Excel来搞定。

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Charts and Graphs

图形图表


Alright, the data are processed, formatted, and ready to go. Now it's time to visualize. The software I use for static charts and graphs depends on the task at hand, so I try not to limit myself to anyone piece of software. For example, R is good for quick results, but no good for a Web application.

好,数据已经处理好了,格式也对了,万事俱备,是时候视觉化处理了。用什么软件制作静态图表取决于手头工作的性质,所以我从不限制自己只使用某一款软件。比如来说,软件R很适合要求快速出结果,却不适合网络应用。

Adobe Illustrator

I use Adobe Illustrator for publication-level graphics. I learned how to use it when I was at The Times out of necessity and have been enjoying it since. You can manipulate every element of a graph with a simple click and a drag - which can be a blessing and a curse.

我使用AI绘制出版级别的图表。我在时代杂志工作的时候迫不得已学会了使用AI,之后就迷上了AI。你可以通过简单的点击和拖曳动作操控图表里的任何一个元素——这可是把双刃剑。

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R

If you have a particular type of (non-animated, non-interactive) statistical visualization in mind, R has probably got it. R is free with countless libraries available. If you can't find a library to suit your needs, you can always script it yourself. One cool thing about R is that you can save your graphics as PDF and then polish it in Adobe Illustrator.

你所能想象的各种数据可视化的方式(非动画,非交互),R基本都可以做到。R是一个免费的开源软件,提供数不清的图表资源库。如果你找不到你需要的图表资源库,你也可以自己编写一个。最酷的就是在R里你可以把图表保存为PDF,然后导入到AI再改善。

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PHP Graphics Library

I've only had limited experience the the PHP GD library. There are several PHP graphing packages available, but I haven't found one that I liked a whole lot, so I'm usually more satisfied drawing my own graphs with the GD library. The Sparklines PHP graphing library isn't half bad either.

我只有在PHP GD 库里有受限的感觉,有一些图表包可以使用,但是我木发现一个让我都喜欢的。所以,我更多地用GD库来绘制自己的图表.PHP 谱线图表库也还不错。

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HTML + CSS + Javascript

You can surprisingly do quite a bit with some simple HTML and CSS. You can make graphs and of course tables as well as control colors and sizes. For example, a lot of the tag clouds you see on the Web are just HTML and CSS. Throw Javascript in to the mix and you've got yourself a party i.e. interaction capabilities.

用一些简单的HTMLCSS就可以实现很多的惊人的数据可视化。你可以制作图形和表格,也可以控制颜色和尺寸。举例来说,在网络上常见的标签云就是用HMTLCSS实现的。再加上JavaScript,你就拥有了一个交互设计的工具箱。

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Flash/Actionscript

Flash and Actionscript is better known for animating and moving data, but it can be used for static stuff too. It's pretty good if you want to add interaction to your visualization like highlighting or filtering. I've done some stuff from scratch and also played around with Flare, the Actionscript visualization toolkit.

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Flash Actionscript 以制作动态的数据表格而著称,但也适用于处理静态数据。如果你想要在可视化图表里加入突出或过滤等动态操作,它非常好用。我从头开始做过几个表格,然后用Actiongscript配套的视觉化工具Flare演示。

Microsoft Excel

It's pretty rare that I use Excel for graphics. If I need something really quick though and the data are already in an Excel spreadsheet, I'll click that graph button.

我很少使用Excel制作图表,除非是我非常赶时间而且数据已经是Excel格式,我才用使用EXCEL自带的图表。

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Animating the Data

数据动态化

There are several options to create animated and interactive data visualization, but these are the only ones I use (and for the most part, dominate what you see on the Web).

创建动态交互的数据可视化的方法有好多种,我只使用过一些(多半也是你在网上所能见到的),选列如下:

Processing

Yeah, it's called Processing. I've seen mostly designers use it, but there's no reason it can't be used elsewhere. Processing uses a canvas metaphor where you draw and make sketches and then get a Java applet out of it. Processing was created to make programmatic goodness available to non-programmers.

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耶,没错,它就叫Processing。我见过大多数设计师使用它,没理由不用啊。Processing提供一个类似画布的东西,可以涂涂抹抹制作草图。Processing让非程序员也可以精通编程。

Flash/Actionscript

Flash and Actionscript has been my point of interest lately – mostly because the Java applet is dead as far the Web is concerned. The interactive/animated visualization you see from places like The New York Times, Stamen Design, and web applications are usually implemented with Flash and Actionscript. Not sure if it's Flash? The tell tale sign is a simple right click on whatever you're looking at. Take a look at my previous post on How to Learn Actionscript for Data Visualization for more details.

最近一直在关注Flash Actionscript,主要因为一涉及到Web的时候Java 程序太不给力了。你从纽约时代,Stamen设计和web应用所见到的动态交互可视化通常都是应用了FlashActionscript。不确定是是不是应用了Flash?明显的方法就是在你所见的东西上右击。想了解更多细节,可查看我的上一篇文章:如何学习Actiongscript进行数据可视化。

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Phew, that was a lot. I started this out as a list of 10 tools and resources, and it just kept growing. I didn't realize I use so many things. It just goes to show that for any given job, there's a tool that's right and one that's not.

哎呀,写的太多了。我本来只想列举10个工具和资源的清单,它自己不停地增加了。我也没想到我用过这么多的东西。对于任何一个指定的任务,总有一个最适合的工具,和最不适合的。

The amazing thing is that these are only the tools I use. There are lots of others out there. Do you use something that's not on the list to visualize data or know of another resource that would be useful?

令人賊喜的是,这些还只是我个人使用的一些工具,还有很多未使用过的其他工具。你是否使用过其他清单上没有的工具进行数据可视化,或知道其他有用的资源呐?一起分享吧。

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