Philly ETE 2015 #35 – Ritchie S. King – ​Visual Storytelling with D3: A Conceptual Introduction to Visualizing Data with JavaScript

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Slides from Ritchie’s talk are available here.


If you’re interested in visualizing data on the Internet, the best way to do it is to use the JavaScript library, D3. Short for data-driven documents, D3 works by marrying your data to your web page, a glorious union that enables you to sculpt that web page into a graphical display which mirrors exactly the structure of your data.

Uh, so what does that mean, exactly? My goal is to answer that question in this talk. I’ll go over some of D3’s core concepts and
show, by way of an example graphic, how D3 can take raw information,
add structure to it, and create, as if by magic, an endless number of
endlessly customizable chart forms. The talk will be largely conceptual; you won’t walk away from it with any usable snippets of
code. What you will gain, I hope, is an appreciation of D3’s power and
the underlying logic that supplies it. I’ll also direct you to some
good resources for getting started with D3 and give you some tips on
avoiding the traps that beginners tend to fall into.

About Ritchie:

Ritchie is a visual journalist at FiveThirtyEight, meaning that he builds interactive data visualizations (mostly with D3), makes and edits charts for the site, and does some reporting and writing here and there. He also makes tools that other members of the newsroom can use to, say, create their own charts. Before FiveThirtyEight, he worked at Quartz, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The New York Times.

Ritchie is the author of Visual Storytelling with D3, a book that both introduces JavaScript’s excellent D3 library and touches on how to turn data into compelling visual stories. The book is part of Addison-Wesley’s Data & Analytics series.