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13 August 2012, 17:01

New version of data-visualising D3 JavaScript library

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D3 visualisation
Zoom A D3 visualisation showing a complex relationship between nations
Source: Bill Marsh

Version 2.10 of the open source D3 (Data Driven Development) JavaScript library features a good dozen additions or enhancements and can be used to visualise datasets both statically or interactively using HTML, CSS, and SVG. Like jQuery, the cross-browser library features generic DOM element selection, dynamic property annotation, event processing, transitions and transformations. D3's web site includes more than 200 impressive examples, some from large media firms and institutions.

D3 2.10 features more sophisticated transformation and transition options and custom line and path interpolators. Map thresholds for colour gradients in diagrams, maps and similar graphs, as well as support for the L*a*b* and HCL colour spaces make it easier to work with colours. Simplified transform interpolation uses d3.tween to let the developer take better control of translations.

For dataset manipulation, users can now use TSV (tab-separated values) files as a database and make use of multi-value maps, which allow assignments of multiple values to selected elements with a single method command.

Variable padding in bar graphs combined with scale mark positioning should help with smoother bar graph design. Finally, the new static localised date formatting allows D3 to be built with static support for time formats in, among others, Russian and French.

D3 can be used for all modern browsers (version 9 or later of Internet Explorer) under the BSD licence. Code downloads, documentation, tutorials and more are available on GitHub.


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